SCORE

We want to bat as long as possible: Samaraweera

Sri Lanka is now on the front seat after ending with 504 runs and the loss of just 3 wickets in the third day of the Test match. Bangladesh could manage to take only two wickets in the day.

Dhananjaya de Silva and and Kusal Mendis’s massive hundreds coupled with Roshen Silva’s half century put Sri Lanka on the driver’s seat as they were left trailing by only 9 runs before the end of day’s play.

However, Sri Lanka batting coach Thilan Samaraweera doesn’t want his batsmen to lose their concentration by believing they have done the hard work. After the end of day’s play, Samaraweera said in the press conference: “We are not thinking about the lead. We want to bat as long as possible. We want to firstly bat till lunch on the fourth day, and then see what happens.”

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He added: “The first two hours is important tomorrow. We have to keep building partnerships. We have to bat normally because 180 is a lot of overs. After Bangladesh made 513 runs, we told the team that we should keep batting.”

Samaraweera also gave credit to Dhananjaya and Mendis for their brilliant 300 runs partnership that completely turned around the game: “I think full credit goes to the two batters – Dhananjaya and Kusal Mendis – after we lost an early wicket. They put on a 300-run partnership.”

About Kusal missing on double hundred yet again: “I think he is so disappointed. The bigger picture is that if he had scored those two double hundreds, it would have been very special for a 23-year old.”

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