Chandi’s experience helped me – Dhananjaya
Sri Lanka’s new kid on the block Dhananjaya de Silva said the batting
with vice-captain Dinesh Chandimal helped him to reach his maiden Test
hundred on the opening day of the third and final Test against Australia
at the SSCgrounds yesterday.
De Silva gets a hug from partner Dinesh Chandimal after
reaching his maiden hundred
“Chandi has lot of experience and he was extremely helpful in telling
me how to build the innings,” said De Silva who ended the day unbeaten
on 116. “He told me to play to the side where the ball was turning and I
did that. It was awesome to get a hundred for my country. I am feeling
good.” De Silva said that in the previous two Tests where he batted at
number seven he had tried to score as many runs as possible.
“During the other games too we had lost few early wickets. I tried to
get some runs but in this game I came in early and went onto get a big
one,” De Silva said. De Silva made 24 and 36 at Pallakele, and 37 and 34
at Galle before breaking off to make a big one here at the SSC.
He arrived at the wicket in the 17th over when Sri Lanka were reeling
under the onslaught of Mitchell Starc at 26-5 and with Chandimal forged
a record breaking sixth wicket partnership that is worth 188 runs.De
Silva played the lead role in the partnership outscoring his senior
partner.“This is the way I play. I attack and as Chandi stayed on at the
other end I was able to score freely.”“There was a bit of pressure at
the start of my innings. Sri Lanka needed runs from me so I thought to
take my time and score those runs,” he said.
“Starc was the biggest threat. He takes a lot of wickets and puts us
under pressure. So we were keen to see him off and play against the
De Silva said that the pitch would turn as the game progresses. “Lyon
bowled a good line and he was troubling us among the spinners. 275 will
be a good score.”
Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon gave credit to Chandimal and De
Silva for the way they batted. “We were lucky enough to get five early
wickets but we got to give credit to the two guys batting, they batted
outstandingly and they put on a very good partnership,” said Lyon.
“We have to come back tomorrow and start the grind again, the game’s
not over yet because they are 5 for 214. If they were anywhere on the
board at 5-214 after winning the toss and batting it’s a big tick to be
honest. I was pretty proud of all our bowlers today. It was real hot it
was a good test for all of us bowlers.” Lyon said the difference between
the two teams was the partnerships that Sri Lanka was able to build. “If
you look at the whole series it’s a big K in Sri Lanka leading the
series 2-0. It’s the ability for their batsmen to bat partnerships for
long periods of time. We spoken about it and our bowlers came out with a
plan in this Test match hoping to put them into play and bat for long
periods,” said Lyon.
“The pitch is playing okay there seems to be no demons at this stage.
It’s going to be a tough challenge and first innings runs are going to
be crucial for us. As a bowling group we learnt a lot, we adapted and we
are challenging these guys to defend a lot more often today. We should
come back tomorrow grind again and play a hard Test match again,” he