Atapattu confident Sri Lanka can save Test

ABU DHABI, October 20, 2011 (AFP) – Sri Lanka batting coach Marvan Atapattu insisted on Thursday that his team can save the first Test, despite being punished by a rampant Pakistan batting line-up.

Atapattu said the pitch was not conducive for batting initially after Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq put them in.

“The outfield is not fast by any means and the wicket wasn’t a batting-friendly wicket for a start. I wouldn’t say it was two-paced but there was something there for bowlers who were ready to bend their backs,” said the former captain.

Atapattu, 40, who played 90 Tests and 268 one-dayers during his career, termed the conditions in Abu Dhabi as “tough”.

“It’s hard conditions, tough conditions. Obviously, we knew what we were against, but we weren’t at our best. Tomorrow will be a new day and hopefully the ones who missed out will have a good day tomorrow.” Sri Lanka conceded a huge 314-run first innings lead to their rivals, before closing the third day on 47-1, still 267 behind.

Sri Lanka lost opener Tharanga Paranavitana off the first delivery of their second innings, trapped leg-before by paceman Umar Gul before Lahiru Thirimanne (20) and Kumar Sangakkara (27)