In his typically modest manner, Herath attributed his success with the bat to the pitch changing its nature. “Compared to the first two days, today was much better to bat. We were able to take a lead because of that,” said Herath of the Eden track where fast bowlers from both teams have made the ball talk and spinners have had very little to do. “It is compared to the first two days a much better wicket. I wanted to play the shots. Stay positive.”
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who ended with 4 for 88, lauded Herath for his show with the bat but agreed that the fourth-day pitch, especially after the first hour, had become easier to bat on.
“He batted really well. We could have also got him out early, we could have stopped them under 60-70 runs. But he played really well. He played all the shots that he wanted. That’s how you can bat on this wicket,” said Bhuvneshwar.
“We bowled a bit badly as well, because we were tired and there was too much humidity too. But we did as much as we could have done on this wicket, we bowled well enough. When we were watching the way the Sri Lankans were bowling, we were excited to bowl on that wicket. But that (pitch) totally changed. Yes, we tried too hard; we could have stopped a few runs. I think we could have been more patient.”