Plan to prepare a dusty pitch backfired on Lanka, says Aus captain Clarke after big win in first Test
Rival captains Michael Clarke and Tillakaratne Dilshan blasted the dry wicket in Galle after Australia beat Sri Lanka by 125 runs in the first Test on Saturday.
Australia's Shane Watson celebrates with his teammate (right) after dismissing Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews in Galle on Saturday. Pic/AFP
Clarke, celebrating his first win as Australian captain, said he had never played on a tougher pitch than the dustbowl prepared at the Galle International Stadium.
"Day One felt like Day Five out there," Clarke said after his team took the lead in the three-Test series, Australia's first in Sri Lanka since 2004. "I hate to see a Test match being determined by the toss. It was obviously prepared for their spin bowlers and that backfired. I guess I was just fortunate I won the toss."
A disappointed Dilshan said he did not expect to play on such a dry surface. "Usually, the wicket here is good for both the seamers and the spinners, but I think it was too dry and made batting difficult," he said.
The Sri Lankan captain blamed the defeat on his team's poor first innings total of 105 in reply to Australia's 273. The hosts, set a target of 379, then rode on a classy century from Mahela Jayawardene and 93 from Angelo Mathews to make 253 in the second knock. "If we had got about 250, as we should have, the story would have been different," said Dilshan.