CHITTAGONG: Bangladesh’s hero on day two Mashrafe Bin Mortaza who took 3 for 58 in the Sri Lanka first innings and then hit a face-saving 63 to help the Tigers save the follow on and Sri Lanka’s ace paceman Chaminda Vaas spoke to the Media after the day’s play.
MASHRAFE BIN MORTAZA
His plan after Bangladesh were nine down for 145 and still 40 away from the follow on target
The plan was to save the follow on. I tried to take as much strike as possible but Rajib (Shahadat) was a brilliant partner. We have batted together in similar situations a few times before so I had confidence in him.
On facing Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajanta Mendis and hitting both for sixes
Muralitharan had got me seven or eight times before and every time I had got out early. That’s why my goal was to survive first which I managed to do today. Also boys in the dressing room and Ash (Ashraful) in particular gave me tips on how to handle him. I was thinking more about Murali to be honest. Mendis is obviously world class and currently the top bowler in international cricket but today I found Murali more difficult comparatively.
Whether the wicket was starting to deteriorate
Not really. There are cracks but not that prominent and if you look back to the Test here against New Zealand in October the pitch actually got better for batting in the last three days.
Whether Bangladesh were still in the match
I think day three is crucial in the context of the match. If we can bowl well and restrict them then this match can turn into a good contest. We have to show the application like in Mirpur.
On the top order failure
They bowled well with the new ball and Mendis is always dangerous when the ball is new. The turning point was the wicket of Ashraful and maybe that of Mushfique (Rahim). They both got set and then got out trying to play shots.
How he looks at long-time mate Ashraful’s fatal reverse sweep on 45 after missing two previous attempts
He had played brilliantly until he got out. Ash has a habit of hurrying through the 40s and 90s. Also, I think he spotted a scoring opportunity as the off side fielders were brought in and Murali came round the wicket.
On his bowling in the match
The pitch was expected to aid the spinners more so I just concentrated on hitting the right line and length. I had a bit of luck also probably because this is a slow wicket.
Whether it was frustrating not to get the last Bangladesh pair out before they saved the follow on
I think we bowled well on a slow wicket. The spinners were very good and tried to get them out but Mortaza batted extremely well.
On Ashraful’s dismissal
I felt the skipper handled the spinners very well but it is not easy to stay at the wicket and not score runs. Our seamers put pressure from both ends and when they were off Bangladesh needed some runs and I thought Ashraful got out trying to do that.
Whether he considers his team favourites from here on
We need to bat well first. We have a 178-run lead and need to put up a good score.
On the condition of the pitch
The pitch is slow with low bounce and I don’t think it will change much in the next three days. I believe it could get slower and slower as the match progresses.