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SL have posted winning total: Sangakkara

Kumar Sangakkara believes his team posted a winning first innings total on a wearing pitch on the second day of the first Test against England.

india Updated: Dec 03, 2003 19:09 IST
Reuters
Reuters
PTI

Sri Lanka top scorer Kumar Sangakkara believes his team posted a winning first innings total on a wearing pitch on the second day of the first Test against England on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka recovered from 238 for seven in their first innings to reach 331 due to a lower order rally and a flurry of strokes from Muttiah Muralitharan, who slogged 38 from 37 balls.

England were then left on the back foot on 97 for two as Muralitharan dismissed Marcus Trescothick (23) and Michael Vaughan (24) before the close of play.

"Considering that we started the day on 138 for four we have done really well," said Sangakkara, who scored 71 in the morning. "I think this is a good total on this pitch as it's not going to get any easier to bat.

"The pitch has more bounce than the one we played them on last time and it is starting to wear.

"If we can keep the down to about 250 then I think we have a great chance in this game -- a first innings lead will be crucial.

"It was crucial for us to take the wicket of Marcus Trescothick as he showed during the last tour that he can play Murali well.

"We need to cut out the loose deliveries tomorrow and make sure they have to fight hard for ever single run -- that will put them under pressure and force mistakes.

"If we can work out (Graham) Thorpe then it will expose their more inexperienced players.

Fast bowling all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, who battled through sapping heat and humidity to finish with three for 42 from 23 overs, believes England bowled well.

"We didn't expect Murali to come and play the way he did, he played really well," he said.

"Apart from that, it was a good effort. We bowled well and put the ball in the right areas.

"The wicket is starting to spin a bit more now so we will have to bat well to post a decent total."

Muralitharan, who finished with two for 15 from 10 overs, remains the major threat.

"Murali has always been a prodigious turner of the ball -- he's world class and we need to combat him," Flintoff added.

First Published: Dec 03, 2003 19:09 IST