Sri Lanka’s fielding coach Naveed Nawaz has admitted that his poor fielding performance has let his team down in the ongoing first Test against Pakistan in Galle. He said if they had taken a chance they could have knocked out the opposition by 300 runs.
The first match of the series between Sri Lanka and Pakistan has moved into an exciting final day tomorrow (July 20). The game is kept balanced and both teams have quite a chance to win the game and kick the new edition of the ICC World Trials Championship in the heights.
Going into the fifth day, Pakistan need 87 runs to win, while Sri Lanka are 7 wickets away from victory. It’s fair to say that the hosts would have been in a stronger position than this, but their poor fielding has paved the way for a close finish.
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Sri Lanka recorded a decent total of 312 runs in the first innings and after that with the ball they left Pakistan reeling at 101/5. However, after that Saud Shakeel went on to break a double century and along with Agha Salman (83) helped Pakistan take the lead in the first innings.
Sri Lanka dropped Shakeel twice and was quite sloppy on the pitch. On the other hand, Pakistan’s excellent performance in the field has put them in the position of drivers, and thanks to that they submitted to chasing only 131 races.
Naveed Nawaz said that it has been a disappointing performance from them in the fielding department and if they had run crucial chances the context of the game might have been different. Speaking to reporters, he said:
“I think the fielding is the reason why we are in this situation in this Test. We released too many catches. We would have knocked them out for 300 in the early innings if we had contained our sacks.
“In the second inning, a couple of half chances went to Pakistan and they held on. That also had an impact on us. Fielding is crucial and always has been crucial. The level of fielding we’ve shown has been disappointing.”
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Sri Lanka vs Pakistan: “We had camps before we came here, and our main focus was our pitch” – says Agha Salman
Agha Salman of Pakistan reflected on his team’s performance on the pitch, saying that in the pre-series camp, his main focus was on the pitch. He explained:
“We had camps before we came here, and our main focus was our field. We prepared very well for it, and that is paying off now. Sacks win games is something we’ve heard since I was a kid. When you take these kinds of shots, it will make a difference in the game,” he concluded.
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