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Pakistan's over-cautious approach to Rangana Herath cost them Dubai Test, says Dilruwan Perera

Dilruwan Perera took eight wickets including a five-wicket haul in the Dubai Test.

By Rashmi Nanda -

Dilruwan Perera celebrates Dubai win | AFP

Sri Lankan off-spinner Dilruwan Perera, on Thursday, said that Pakistan's over-cautious approach for Rangana Herath has backfired the hosts in the second and the final Test in Dubai.

Veteran Herath, who took 11 wickets in the Abu Dhabi Test that, led the visitors to win the game by 21 runs, that’s why the hosts were more concentrating on him and whose benefit was taken by Perera.

Perera made problems for the Pakistan batsman by finishing with eight wickets including a five-wicket haul in the second innings, which helped Sri Lanka to clinch the two-match Test series on Tuesday.

Speaking to Cricbuzz, Dilruwan Perera said, “Pakistan concentrated too much on Rangana and tried to prevent him from taking wickets. They came with a plan how to play him and didn't expect me to be a threat. I knew that Dubai would turn more than Abu Dhabi and just concentrated on landing the ball in the right areas.”

Read More: Kumar Sangakkara praises Dinesh Chandimal's captaincy after series 2-0 win

The Dubai Test was maiden pink-ball Test for Sri Lankan, and Perera admitted that bowling with the pink ball was quite difficult than the red ball. He further added, “The one difference in the pink ball is that once the ball gets older, it won't grip much. Then once the dew comes in the night, it gets tougher to turn the ball. That's what happened to us on day four as Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed batted through the last session. They were very comfortable. We knew what was going on and it was important not to panic and stay calm and stick to our plans. We knew once the new ball is available on the final day, we would get the required grip and the assistance from a surface. That exactly what happened.”

Read More: Sarfraz Ahmed claims poor batting cost Pakistan the Test

Commenting on the recent home series against India, where he faced a tough time, picking just two wickets, Perera said, “Against India, I did not have the right rhythm. For this series, I made a few adjustments to my bowling. That helped me to be successful. Also, my batting clicked in this series and that gave me lot confidence. Our tour to India is one month away and I am concentrating on doing well there. Playing India is always a challenge as they are world's number one ranked team.”

The spinner needs just seven wickets to become only the sixth Sri Lankan to take 100 Test wickets.

Perera concluded by saying, “I only bowl the off-beak, but my biggest plus factor is that I have got good control and occasionally bowl the arm ball. Most of my wickets, however, come from the off-spin, which drifts. If I bowl the doosra, that will be the end of my cricket.”