Ford rues batsmen's decision-making | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 16, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:00 AM, March 16, 2017

Ford rues batsmen's decision-making

From the Sri Lankan perspective, having seven batsmen back in the hut for 238 runs at the end of a day on which they won the toss will probably be a disappointment. Coach Graham Ford, while admitting that things had not gone to plan, was still confident that Sri Lanka were still very much in the match.

Bangladesh dried up the runs -- Sri Lanka's end-of-day run rate was 2.7 -- leading to some Sri Lankans surrendering their wickets to rash shots, and Ford credited the visitors' bowling.

"Bangladesh bowled very well in the first two sessions down in Galle and perhaps didn't get the reward they deserved with the no ball [Subashis Roy's no-ball that ruined a first-ball dismissal of Kusal Mendis],"Ford said. "They came out and bowled here with discipline; maybe one or two decisions could have been made better by us in terms of shot options, so one or two dismissals which [if they had not happened] would have given us the upper hand."

He was uncertain about how difficult or easy the pitch was for batting, and also sent out a gentle reminder that Bangladesh's advantage after the first day may be diminished by the fact that they will be batting last on a surface that has produced results in 11 straight matches dating back to September 2005.

"Not sure exactly how tough it is batting on that surface; we'll find out more when we come around to bowl but the general view from the batters is it's not that easy. It's quite hard to score freely. I think it will get tough as the match goes on. It's not a great day but we are still very much in the Test match."

He however had high praise for Dinesh Chandimal, who came in at 24 for two and held the innings together to be unbeaten on a 210-ball 86 at stumps and eyeing his fourth Test hundred against Bangladesh.

"It was brilliant to see how Chandi took on the challenge of holding the innings together and he showed how mature a player he's become," said Ford. "It was a fine example of Test match batting; having to recover from a tough situation shows just the character he's got.

"It's hard to really put a number on it, having won the toss and batting first," Ford said when asked how much he would like in the first innings. "If we are somewhere near 300 it puts us in a pretty good place if there is a bit of deterioration of the surface." 

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