Niroshan Dickwella felt the pitch might start to take serious turn from the third evening © AFP
Niroshan Dickwella, who scored his second Test half-century and spent 46 overs keeping wicket, said that the Galle surface had slowed down since the first day, but was not yet the raging turner it can often become. There appeared to be little assistance for bowlers of any description in the four sessions between lunch on day one and tea on day two. Though there was some turn for left-arm wristspinner Lakshan Sandakan late in the day, this was largely slow turn, rather than the fizzing variety that may often be seen at Galle.
Sri Lanka’s previous match at this venue, against Australia, lasted less than seven sessions. Three full innings had been completed by the end of day two on that occasion.
“It usually turns a bit more here,” Dickwella said. “I played in a Test here against Pakistan in 2014, which we won, and last time Sri Lanka played here, they won against Australia as well. Both those pitches were turning tracks – even on the first day. This one is a bit better for the batsmen – and you can see that in the way we managed to get 490-odd.
“It was a good batting track yesterday, and it’s becoming really slow at the moment. Today, it was getting slow and the turn is slow. I think it will start to properly turn in the third evening.”
In his own innings, Dickwella had adopted a characteristically positive approach, hitting 75 off 76 balls, though he did also fall to an aggressive stroke. Most of his runs were scored in the company of Kusal Mendis, with whom he mounted 110 to propel Sri Lanka to a formidable position.
“Attacking is part of my normal game, and I don’t want to change the way I play,” he said. “It was a flat track as well. I didn’t think too much and my normal game helped me to score runs.”
Dickwella has also impressed in ODI and T20 cricket in recent months, where he has often brought impetus to the top of Sri Lanka’s innings.
“It’s different in Tests, because in T20s and one-dayers, I open the batting, and that’s a different ball game with the Powerplays and all,” he said. “In Test cricket, it’s a totally different game with the slips and fielders in the circle most of the time. The opposition bowls more to a plan as well. But I also like keeping wickets and batting in the middle order. I want to be a better wicketkeeper, so it’s a good role.”
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo