'We didn't expolit our chances'

India comfortably batted out 129 overs in the second innings to make light of a 334-run deficit, aided in no small measure by a completely docile surface. “If you were a batsman, you would like it,” the Sri Lankan captain said. “I don’t think anyone expected this wicket to be this flat. Last time around, South Africa dominated the entire Test on a seaming wicket.

We had our best chance when we had them 32 for four, but we gave it away after lunch.
“For our spinners, this is a good experience for them to get lengthy bowling spells. Both Murali and Rangana Herath bowled well, I thought Rangana bowled the better of the two.
Sangakkara disagreed with suggestions that his team might have the psychological edge in the second Test starting in Kanpur on Tuesday. “It’s going to be Even Stevens.  We all have to start afresh,” he remarked. “It was a good team effort and there were some very good individual performances. Mahela’s 275 was unbelievable, Dilshan he has become run-scoring machine and Prasanna was brilliant.”

The captain had a special word of praise for Chanaka Welegedara, drafted into the side at the last minute after Thilan Thushara pulled up with a sore shoulder and rocking India on the first morning with an incisive spell. “The hardest thing to do is not to expect to play the match and to be told five minutes before the toss that you are going to play. The way he responded showed he has a lot of character and hunger.”

Without taking anything away from Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar’s second-innings hundreds, Sangakkara hinted that he thought they had done no more than what was par for the course. “On this track, you expect your batsmen to score runs,” he said. “Gautam batted well. Sachin also batted really well, congratulations to him. I think the Indian camp would be happier than we are at his hundred!”

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