Immense cold, lack of match practice reasons for Lanka's bad showing?

Elmo Rodrigopulle reporting from New Zealand

11 March 1997

''The Sri Lankans were not positive. This was probably because of the immense cold on the first two days. Winning the toss was the best thing. But the cold held back the boys on the first two days,'' said coach Yardley at a post-match press briefing.

''The Sri Lankans are an hellishly talented side. What they need is to get their act correct. From the heat of Colombo, they had to play in near freezing conditions, without much of cricket on this tour. But I am not holding this as an excuse for their defeat,'' he said. STRENUOUS PRACTICE

''We will be using the extra day to get in some strenuous practice and plan match strategy. The Lankans came back after losing the first Test to Pakistan by innings but came back to win the next two and the series. There is no reason why we can't do a repeat,'' he said.

To a question as to whether he was missing Asanka Gurusinha, he said. 'Marvan Atapattu who has been slotted in at number three is full of talent and promise. He has good technique. He was a bit nervous. But he will come right soon,'' he said.

When questioned about young pacie Nuwan Soysa he said: Soysa is unlimited potential. He is like former Australian Bruce Reid. He bowled brilliantly and that bit of luck was not with him. I have told him not to be disappointed. He will bowl much worse and get 6 for 7 wickets because that is how the game goes,'' said Yardley.

He also said that Soysa beat Bryan Young who made 267 about 30 to 40 times, but just could not get that snick.

''What we did wrong on the first day was bowling to both sides of the wicket. Here again the boys were cold and could not bowl the way they would have liked.''

''The Sri Lankans next move to Hamilton for the second Test and Yardley said that the wicket there may take spin. We will have a look at the wicket and then decide how we will go,'' he said.

Yardley said that he had a look of how Aravinda de Silva was dismissed on TV and was very disappointed.

Aravinda has moved into this Test with no cricket at home or here after his stint with Auckland and looks terribly short of match practice. But he is a highly talented player and he will put the home bowlers to the sword, before he gets on the flight for home.

Source: The Daily News

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Date-stamped : 25 Feb1998 - 14:54