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‘Short ball part of the plan’

Staff Correspondent

Sri Lankan paceman Shaminda Eranga (C) celebrates the wicket of Bangladesh batsman Nasir Hossain (not in picture) on the opening day of their first Test match at the SBNS on Monday. — New Age photo  Sri Lankan paceman Shaminda Eranga (C) celebrates the wicket of Bangladesh batsman Nasir Hossain (not in picture) on the opening day of their first Test match at the SBNS on Monday. — New Age photo

Sri Lankan pace bowler Shaminda Eranga admitted that they had a plan to bowl short deliveries against the Bangladeshi batsmen during the opening day of the first Test in Dhaka on Monday.
Eranga was the most successful Sri Lankan bowler, taking a career-best 4-49 to help the tourists dismiss Bangladesh for 232 runs in under 64 overs. Sri Lanka reached 60-0 at close to give an early indication that this could be a lopsided match with little chance to go to the fifth day.
‘Obviously we practised and had a plan for the game,’ Eranga said through the Sri Lankan manager, who acted as his interpreter.
‘The plan was to use the short ball and the pitch was such that you had to use the short ball, otherwise you cannot get them out.’
The four-wicket haul – just the third of his career – was a welcome relief for Eranga, who had an ordinary series against Pakistan in the UAE before coming to Bangladesh.
Eranga claimed just 12 wickets in three Tests in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah despite being Sri Lanka’s pace spearhead these days.
His showing then reflected Sri Lanka’s overall performance, as the Lions surrendered a series lead and a strong position in the final Test to finish the series 1-1. Sri Lanka’s negative tactics in the final Test backfired, making a good showing in Bangladesh necessary to lift the morale of the side.
‘Actually the pitches in the UAE and here are quite the same. The Pakistani batsmen were harder to dismiss than the Bangladeshis; that is the only difference,’ he said.




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