We can push for a win from here says Paranavitana
Opener Tharanga Paranavitana said that Sri Lanka is in a strong position to push for a win in the third and final cricket test at the Pallakele Stadium, after gaining a first innings lead of 111 runs on Tuesday.
"We're in a really good position by now. We can push for a win from here. A lead of 111 runs means a tremendous advantage for us," Paranavitana told reporters at the post match press conference.
According to Paranavitana, the wicket is not an easy one to bat in the morning sessions.
"The wicket is still the same as it was on the first day and even on the next two days, there may not be a change," he said.
Under these conditions, Sri Lanka will have a better chance to claim the remaining nine wickets of Pakistan and push for a win to make it 2-0 in the series.
Having made only 81 in four previous test innings against Pakistan, Paranavitana was in a happy mood at Pallakele after making 75 with eight boundaries, and also having a major share in the fourth wicket stand of 143 runs, which put Sri Lanka close to Pakistan total of 226.
"I'm really happy to get back into the form. I took a good start in the last two test matches but didn't capitalize on those occasions. In a match like this, and especially on a wicket like this, I'm really happy to score 75 runs" Paranavitana told reporters at Pallakele
He missed a well-deserved century, which could have been much more valuable to the team. However, 75 runs on a wicket which is not ideally suited for batting, is a substantial contribution to the team, especially considering the situation that his team was in.
Sri Lanka was precariously placed on 44 for 3 after losing Mahela Jayawardene on Sunday evening.
"I was under tremendous pressure, before coming into this game. There were lots of reports against me and they were saying that this could be my last chance.
"You can't help it. That happens to everybody. Everybody has bad patches in their careers and those who are going forward with less bad patches will remain in the team," Paranavitana said.
Despite getting out four times to Saeed Ajmal, Paranavitana said that he will adhere to his game plan.
"It's true that I got out four times to Ajmal. But every batsman has a game plan before going into a match. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t," he said.
"I don’t have to tell you what my game plan is. But even if I get out frequently to one particular bowler, I still do what I want to do out there in the middle. If I feel to come out of the crease and play, I'll do that as well," Paranavitana said.
His team-mates, the captain and the coach had spoken to him to get him into the right frame of mind before the third test.
"I think, I have a very much free mind now, in this game. I can just come back to my normal form hereafter. In future, I can play in the same way as I play in club matches,” he said.
(By Daminda Wijesuriya)