Anything over 200-250 will be really tough chasing - Streak | Sunday Observer

Anything over 200-250 will be really tough chasing - Streak

Former Zimbabwe fast bowler and present head coach Heath Streak is of the view that any score of over 200-250 would be tough chasing on the fourth or fifth days on the R Premadasa Stadium pitch that is now beginning to assist spin from day two yesterday.

Sri Lanka found much to their dismay how much the pitch had changed in its appearance from day one when they lost seven wickets for 293 in reply to Zimbabwe’s 356.

“We had to fight hard but very happy with the position we are in. The match is very evenly poised at the moment. If you say that we would be in this position at the end of day two we would definitely take it,” said Streak.

“The pitch is starting to turn especially for the wrist spinners. We saw (Graeme) Cremer getting some really good turn. It is starting to dry up and take a little bit of turn. As we go into the next few days it’s going to get harder and harder batting last. To me it’s going to be a challenge.

“It was pleasing to see us perform there are times where we just let things drift a little bit but all in all I am very happy. Cremer was outstanding today bowled some really dangerous balls and could easily have a five-for already.

It’s nice to be in the position we are in but its only two hard days. There’s lot more in the Test match if we are going to give ourselves a chance to challenge Sri Lanka,” he said.

Streak said that capturing the remaining Sri Lankan wickets quickly and getting a first innings lead would be crucial. Sri Lanka trail Zimbabwe by 63 runs with three wickets in hand.

“The two out there can bat and any sort of lead is going to be very valuable on that pitch. If we can pick up those last few wickets quickly and if we do it and get a lead as well that will be a bonus,” said Streak.

“It is going to be very important for our batters to give our bowlers something to bowl for in the last innings enough runs to really have a chance of winning.”

Batting fourth won’t be easy - Herath

Sri Lanka’s key spinner Rangana Herath who will have a big role to play in the Zimbabwe second innings was also of the view that batting fourth on the track won’t be easy.

“We have to try get as many runs as we can from now. If we can get to 350 or 400 – even get a lead of about 50 that would be good. But if we can’t manage that we have to get them out cheaply in the second innings,” said Herath.

“Batting fourth on this track won’t be easy. We’ve got two spinners in the eleven so I think we’ll be able to get them out for an average score or below.” Herath admitted that Sri Lanka should have been in a better position at the end of the day.

“We got a good start through Upul and Dimuth. After that Cremer bowled really well. The balls to get Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal were very good balls. When you get those kinds of deliveries, the chances of getting out are high,” said Herath.

“But right now we should have been in a better position than this - we’re still about 63 runs behind. We need to get those runs or more to get into a good position in the match.”

Herath said that Asela Gunaratne who batted with a hamstring injury won’t be able to bowl in the second innings and it will be left to the two spinners and the two quicks to do the job.

However after end of the day’s play Kusal Mendis normally a wicket-keeper was seen turning his arm over at practice bowling wrist spin which is very effective on the surface as Cremer proved.

“He has bowled in Zimbabwe as well and taken a wicket there. He will also be an option for the captain,” said Herath. Mendis dismissed Tiripano for 46 trapping him lbw in the first Test played at Harare last year. – ST

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