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Sri Lanka coach Moody upbeat despite top order failure

Written by: Staff

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Mar 27 (Reuters) Coach Tom Moody admitted disappointment with Sri Lanka's top order but insisted his team could still win the first test against Pakistan.

Sri Lanka were skittled out for 185 after being put into bat under overcast skies on a moist pitch today. Pakistan finished on 124 for four, 61 runs adrift.

''It was not an ideal toss to lose and we'd have loved to have a bowl early on,'' said Moody after the second day's close.

''We knew it was going to be challenging but we also knew the pitch would settle down - unfortunately, the damage at the top was too severe,'' he added.

''I was disappointed with the top order - I thought we played at too many deliveries and followed the ball although a couple of the boys got special deliveries that on another day would probably knock them over again.

''There is no doubt that we have got some homework to do with our batting. The quality is there but the top order is not firing as it should do.'' Sri Lanka were left reeling on 32 for five before a 111-run partnership between Tillakaratne Dilshan (69) and Farveez Maharoof (46) ensured some respectability.

Moody said: ''I still think the game is very open and the first two sessions tomorrow will be critical.

''If we bowl well and bat better on what will be an easier pitch then we could find ourselves right back in the match.'' Pakistan's hero was pace bowler Asif Mohammad who seamed the ball dangerously, finishing with four for 41 from 15 overs.

''There was a bit of moisture in the pitch and I just tried to bowl a good line and length,'' he said.

Reuters AY RS2139

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