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‘Dilshan was certain he didn’t hit it’

Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene shed light on the successful umpire review that Tillakaratne Dilshan called for. Anand Vasu reports.

cricket Updated: Jul 24, 2008 23:44 IST
Anand Vasu

Mahela Jayawardene made India pay for the two catches they dropped, scoring a record 9th Test century at the SSC. "I did know [about equalling Bradman's record], there was a big announcement made at the ground. It's a very friendly venue for me, having played 12 years of First Class cricket here," said Jayawardene, with Sri Lanka sitting pretty.

"It's a good batting wicket, batting here is all about application — after settling in the initial period, it's easy to graft the runs. With the two dropped catches, I've been very lucky, but that's how it goes, sometimes it goes your way."

Jayawardene also dispelled the notion that there was some doubt in his mind about what to do on winning the toss. "Usually at the SSC, it does something on the first day.

“We knew that the wicket under the covers was very dry, so we thought runs on the board would help. That was our plan — runs on the board and then take our chances. It's the usual thing to bat first."

The Sri Lankan captain also shed light on the successful umpire review that Tillakaratne Dilshan called for.

"Dilshan was confident that he didn't hit it, and that's why he went for the referral and got it his way. The Indian guys went for a couple of 50-50 decisions, which are tough for the third umpire to give."

Jayawardene added that the Sri Lankans had spoken about how to go about the review process when on the field. "We had a long chat about what was the way to go about it. Obviously, the 50-50 ones are going to be tough," he said.

So if it's not a 100 per cent, you don't go for it because the umpire won't give it even if there is a little doubt. The wicketkeeper is the ideal guy to know the lines. You can take a few chances, but not too many."

Thilan Samaraweera, who also scored a century, pointed to technical changes that have helped him. "I've changed my game in the last 20 months when I have been out of the team and with the 'A' team.

“I'm looking to score more runs," he said. "In Trinidad as well, I scored a hundred in 180 balls.

“I've made little technical changes. I was dropped for two years, and I really wanted to make it back. I'm happy the changes have worked for me."

Although the pitch was still good for batting, Samaraweera felt the bowlers might get some assistance on the last two days. "Days four and five may see uneven bounce and turn. It hasn't begun to powder yet."