Match Day Centre Pakistan trail England by 39 runs with 7 wickets remaining

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Dilshan: "We came to win"

Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan says his side came to win at Lord's and that they can build on their first innings score to put the pressure on England.

After a surprising England win in the first Test in Cardiff, when Sri Lanka were skittled for 82 in their second innings, Dilshan said his side started with a clean slate at Lord's:

"We forgot about everything that happened in Cardiff and came here to play our brand of cricket. As captain I'm really happy with the way we've batted for the last two days.

"We're a little bit disappointed that the rain came. We came here to win - there was no point to come to draw. In my opinion without the rain we'd be ahead of England by now.

"England bowled well, especially with the first new ball. If you got set on this wicket it did become a little easier."

'Special ground'

Dilshan led from the front, scoring an excellent 193, despite being struck on the right thumb by deliveries from Chris Tremlett first on Saturday and again on Sunday.

His mammoth total is his highest in Tests and also the highest by a Sri Lankan at Lord's.

"I went for an x-ray but nothing is broken. It's a little bit bruised. In a couple of day's time I'll be fine.

"If I need to bat again for my team, as captain I'll forget about my finger and bat for my team.

"Its been hit three times on this tour - in the same spot, by the same bowler."

"I'm really happy to have got my highest [score] at such a special ground, Lord's. Everyone wants to play at Lord's.

"I'm really happy, my name will be up on the Boards. I'm really enjoying how today and yesterday went."

'Technical issues'

England bowling coach David Saker admitted feeling some disappointment at a rather below par display from the home side's attack:

"The last 12 months to 18 months we've set extremely high standards. The last two days have been nothing like those standards. Saker said.

"The bowlers are extremely disappointed, I'm disappointed.

"For the first time I'd say there were some technical issues there. We'll have to address those, no doubt.

"The Sri Lankans put us under a lot of pressure and we probably didn't respond well to that.

"That last hour was really impressive and much more like we've shown in the last 18 months."


Saker said that the absence of James Anderson, missing through injury, was a blow but refused to use that as an excuse. However, he was hopeful the Lancashire seamer would be fit the for the third and final Test of the series:

"Losing your leader with the ball would be hard to replace. We think we've got a really good crop of bowlers, not just the three here.

"Jimmy's been leading the attack so well, he sets the scene for us. It's not an excuse, we knew going into this someone had to put their hand up and bowl well but we didn't get that.

"We've got a programme in place, hopefully he'll be fit for selection [for the third Test].

"We set high standards, to lose one player and then bowl the way we did, I don't think that's excusable.

"When you have good days you can, at times, become lackadaisical. We know in this game if you do that it can bite you on the bottom pretty quickly.

"Cricketers and people in general can take things for granted.

"There were some balls flying down the leg side. Matty Prior had a hard job for the last few days. That's a sign that some things aren't right."

Saker did see some signs of hope for England though and confirmed that the mood in the dressing room is good as they pursue what would be a series-clinching victory:

"Steven Finn has done some good work, we had no hesitation putting him in the team. But I think he was pretty anxious to do well after being left out of a few Ashes Tests.

"We chatted to him about that and he looked really relaxed in his last spell and that's what you want from a cricketer.

"That last hour, Finn especially, was really good. We enjoyed that last hour a lot. Most bowlers like bowling after rain - we'll get a good lot of rain tonight. We're confident for the second innings."

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