Sri Lanka defend decision not to enforce follow-on

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s fast bowling coach Rumesh Ratnayake defended his team’s decision to not enforce the follow-on against Pakistan in the second and final Test in Dubai on Sunday.

Pakistan were bowled out for 262 in their first innings late on day three which meant they were 220 runs behind Sri Lanka’s total of 482 but the visitors opted to bat again, with disastrous consequences.

At stumps Sri Lanka were stumbling on 34/5, an overall lead of 254, with Pakistan paceman Wahab Riaz taking three wickets in 21 balls under the lights.

Day 3 report: Pakistan hit back but Sri Lanka still on top

Ratnayake told reporters on Sunday: “The reason that we didn’t ask them to follow-on was because we felt that it was very hot and the bowlers wouldn’t have been able to go through the strenuous heat.

“We collectively thought that we should bat again.”

Ratnayake said his team’s batsmen lost their processes during that final hour but is hopeful of a good first session on Monday that will help Sri Lanka clinch the series.

Pakistan will also be a bowler short in the second innings after Mohammad Amir was ruled out with a shin injury he picked during the game.

The Sri Lanka bowling mentor continued: “It was unexpected. The processes were lost in the midst. The boys had a belief saying that we needed to play out 15 overs.

“We were thinking of those 15 overs and not the processes. Hopefully things will work out for us in the afternoon tomorrow.

“Pakistan are such a good side. They are unpredictable and you expect the unexpected from them. We shouldn’t forget that they are a good bowling unit although Amir is missing. They bowled exceptionally well in those 15 overs.”

Sri Lanka are one-nil up in the two-match series after winning the first Test in Abu Dhabi by 21 runs.