Pakistan played into our hands: Dilruwan Perera

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  1. chandtara
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    chandtara Mr Cricistan

    Jun 18, 2011
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    "If you see in Abu Dhabi, Rangana was taking the wicket and I was containing from the other end. In Dubai the roles were reversed." © AFP

    Offspinner Dilruwan Perera, who scripted Sri Lanka's 68-run win over Pakistan in Dubai on Tuesday, says that Pakistan's over-cautious approach to deny Rangana Herath any wickets in the second Test backfired. Veteran Herath, who took 11 wickets in the first Test in Abu Dhabi, which Sri Lanka won by 21 runs was well negotiated in Dubai, but Perera caused problems finishing with eight wickets including a five-wicket haul in the second innings.

    "Pakistan concentrated too much on Rangana and tried to prevent him from taking wickets. They came with a plan how to play him and didn't expect me to be a threat. I knew that Dubai would turn more than Abu Dhabi and just concentrated on landing the ball in the right areas," Perera told Cricbuzz.

    Perera's efforts ended Pakistan's unbeaten run in UAE stretching to seven years across nine series. The Dubai Test was also Sri Lanka's maiden pink-ball experience. Perera said that bowling with the pink ball was harder than the red ball. "The one difference in the pink ball is that once the ball gets older, it won't grip much. Then once the dew comes in in the night, it gets tougher to turn the ball. That's what happened to us on day four as Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed batted through the last session. They were very comfortable. We knew what was going on and it was important not to panic and stay calm and stick to our plans. We knew once the new ball is available on the final day, we would get the required grip and the assistance from surface. That exactly what happened," noted Perera.

    Perera made the breakthrough to end the 176-run stand between Sarfraz and Asad when the Pakistani captain top edged a sweep shot to Nuwan Pradeep in the deep. "In Abu Dhabi, the wicket was good for batting on the first four days and it only turned on the final day. But In Dubai, the ball was spinning from day two and by the time we came to day four, we knew a target of 317 was going to be tough. We knew we had the game in the bag. Just needed to be patient," Perera elaborated.

    The Herath-Perera combination has worked well for Sri Lanka. The duo played a major role in the 3-0 whitewash of Australia in 2016 taking 43 wickets between them - 28 for Herath and 15 for Perera. Once again, they did the job against Pakistan, this time taking 28 wickets in the two-match series - 16 for Herath and 12 for Perera.

    "We adapt according to the match situation. If you see in Abu Dhabi, Rangana was taking the wickets and I was containing from the other end. In Dubai the roles were reversed. We complement each other well."

    Perera had a tough time in the recent series against India. He played all three Tests but managed only two wickets. "Against India, I did not have the right rhythm. For this series, I made a few adjustments to my bowling. That helped me to be successful. Also my batting clicked in this series and that gave me lot of confidence. Our tour to India is one month away and I am concentrating on doing well there. Playing India is always a challenge as they are world's number one ranked team," Perera said.

    An old-school type spinner, Perera relies heavily on his stock delivery and needs seven more wickets to become only the sixth Sri Lankan to take 100 Test wickets. "I only bowl the off-beak, but my biggest plus factor is that I have got good control and occasionally bowl the arm ball. Most of my wickets, however, come from the off-spin, which drifts."

    Why he doesn't want to try a doosra? "If I bowl the doosra, that will be the end of my cricket," Perera said tongue in cheek.
     
  2. Del
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    Del Cricistani

    Dec 21, 2016
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    Yeah, we've rich history of making mediocre bowlers look like ATG.
     

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