Sri Lanka aims for 2-0 series win over Pakistan
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews says they will be able to set aside their emotions in the second cricket test against Pakistan in order to win and give an ideal sendoff for the retiring Mahela Jayawardene.
On Thursday, Jayawardene will be playing his 149th and final test on his home ground at Sinhalese Sports Club.
“It’s going to be an emotional game for us,” Mathews said on Wednesday.
“When we walk into a game we want to win all the time, regardless of what happens around you. The best thing we could do is to try and win the game and give him the best farewell that we could possibly give him.”
Naturally, Pakistan counterpart Misbah-ul-Haq said they will try to spoil Jayawardene’s farewell.
“Our plan is simple, it is to get him out early in tomorrow’s final test match,” Misbah said.
Seam bowler Shaminda Eranga was doubtful for the game with a hip injury, while batsman Kithruwan Vithanage also nurses a finger injury. Mathews said if they don’t play their replacements would be picked from Lahiru Thirimanne, opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne and Binura Fernando, a 19-year-old uncapped seam bowler.
Misbah said the official scrutiny on the bowling action of his ace offspinner Saeed Ajmal will not be a distraction to his team.
“That is not a point of worry for us, he has been through this process before and cleared,” Misbah said.
“I hope he will be fine, and we are just concentrating on this game. Looking forward to playing good cricket and try and win this, and level the series.”
Ajmal was reported for a suspect action after the first test in Galle, where Sri Lanka won by seven wickets on Sunday.
His action was cleared in 2009, and his “doosra,” a delivery that spins away from right-handed batsmen, was also okayed two years ago.