Galle: Centurion Dinesh Chandimal said that his plan of countering the Indian spinners worked well as he helped Sri Lanka fightback from a precarious position to stay alive in the first Test here today. Sri Lanka rode on Chandimal's career-best 162 not out to post 367, giving the visitors a winning target of 176.
Registering his fourth Test ton, Chandimal admitted that his well though-out moves paid rich dividends. "Before I went out to bat I was thinking in the dressing room what I was going to do in the middle. I was going to reverse sweep and sweep to put pressure on the bowlers. I did that. I'm really happy with the way I handled their spinners. It was difficult to bat on this kind of pitch. I tried to rotate the strike. I tried to put the pressure on the bowler so I could get a loose delivery from him," said Chandimal.
"I'm over the moon with the way I played in that situation. I handled that situation like a duck to water. Also, (Lahiru) Thirimanne and Jehan Mubarak they also batted really well, and even (Angelo) Mathews and (Kumar) Sangakkara, so credit goes to them as well," he added.
Lanka were struggling at 95 for five in the morning session when Chandimal was joined in by Lahiru Thirimanne (44). The duo stitched a crucial 125-run sixth-wicket stand, though their stay was helped with a couple of umpiring howlers.
"It was difficult to bat. Three or four wickets were down by the time I went to bat. It was a difficult time to bat. But decisions are part of the game. Sometimes you get good ones, sometime bad ones. It's cricket," Chandimal said.
When asked if he would have walked, Chandimal replied, "I didn't feel anything. I was batting under pressure was there. I didn't feel anything hit the bat. If I had felt something, definitely I would have walked. But I didn't feel anything."