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                                              Sri Lanka rue bowling first – Ford

Sri Lanka regretted putting the opposition in after winning the toss at the SSC but still believed that they can make a comeback in the second test with a solid batting performance on a batters paradise. "Test match cricket goes over for five days and we need to respond really well" "We’ll have to come back and get into our work nicely tomorrow. Obviously, batting well in our first innings is going to be crucial" Sri Lanka coach, Graham Ford told reporters Saturday evening.In the second test began at the SSC grounds, on Saturday, Pakistan was sitting in the box seat at 334 for one in their first innings, after being sent into bat. Opener Mohammed Hafeez was unbeaten on 172 while his partner, Azhar Ali, was eight runs short of the three figure mark. The second wicket pair made Sri Lanka sweat for over four hours with an unfinished record partnerships of 256 runs"Clearly, we got that decision wrong and the score tells it very clearly. "There are lots of experienced men in our group and they know pretty well on this surface. I don't think any of them thought that pitch would play so well on the first day" Ford told reporters."There was something in the pitch in the first hour and with Pakistan not having started too well in the two innings in Galle. "If we could strike early with the new ball, it would have got us in a pretty positive place and hopefully get them into a negative place. Unfortunately, it didn't do anything here, what everybody thought," Ford added.Sri Lanka had their lone success, six overs before lunch, in the first session as Taufeeq Umar cut into the hands of wicket keeper Prasanna Jayawardene who was standing up to the stumps off Angelo Mathews.Having Nuwan Pradeep, who bowls 140 plus kmph, Nuwan Kulasekara shared the new ball with Mathews who moved the ball both ways but had little luck for his efforts. Centurion, Mohammed Hafeez hooked Mathews to be taken brilliantly by Prasanna Jayawardene but it happened to be off the only no-ball bowled by him."I think everybody is aware that there's a bit of movement in the first hour and may be a little bit longer. We had to to try and utilize it. "Unfortunately, it didn’t go to the plan and we have to give lot of credit to the way they (Mohammed Hafeez and Azhar Ali) batted""They dug in and batted superbly well. At the end, they've got lot of positive momentum for themselves" the Sri Lanka coach said.
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