Abu Dhabi: Sri Lanka batsman Dinesh Chandimal hailed his skipper Angelo Mathews’ unbeaten 116, which led his side to a 241-run lead over Pakistan on the fourth day of the first Test, as one of the most ‘mature’ knocks he has seen.
“Angelo went into bat at a crucial time and I think that was a very mature knock that I have seen from him. He batted really well and we are happy to see the way he has batted through out the innings. I will like to see how he goes tomorrow also,” said Chandimal, who scored a crucial 138-run partnership with the skipper.
The wicket will get slower on the final day and a 300-plus total would be a good target to set, Chandimal added.
“It will not be easier to bat as there is a little bit of spin. On day three, there was a lot of seam and today the ball came a bit slow. It will get a lot slower tomorrow and we will have to keep our fingers crossed to win the game. If we can play well and get to 300, it will be a good winning total,” Chandimal said, adding that he was pleased with his showing with the bat, but was disappointed to get out on 89.
“When I went to bat, we had lost three wickets and it was crucial time to bat on that pitch at that time [on day three]. I got a good start and today we played well in the first two sessions, myself and Angelo. But I am disappointed to get out on 89 as that knock came under crucial circumstances,” said Chandimal, who felt that the Pakistan bowlers bowled well despite not getting breakthroughs.
“The bowlers [Bilawal] Bhatti and Junaid [Khan] bowled really well, especially Junaid. Every spell he was coming at us and we definitely had some game plan. [Saeed] Ajmal is a very good bowler and we are not underestimating him. We played against him in Sri Lanka and that helped. The boys have played well against him in this Test,” revealed Chandimal.
Pakistan bowling Mohammad Akram also backed his bowling unit, saying that they couldn’t have done anything more.
“The bowlers did well and gave 100 per cent. Both Mathews and Chandimal batted so well as we understand that pitch still is a good Test wicket to play on andm if the batsmen persist, they can score well,” said Akram adding: “Our bowlers tried their best and I couldn’t ask for any more. We bowled well in every session and each bowler played his part in partnership, contained runs from one end and attacked from the other. So on this type of pitch we did exactly what was required.”
Akram was of the view that a couple of quick wickets in the morning session on day five could reignite Pakistan’s hopes of a win.
“If we can get them all out early or they declare in the first session, there is a possibility. Batting on the final day is always tough. We have the batsmen who have recently scored well in ODIs and can get the runs,” Akram added.