Sri Lanka assistant coach Rumesh Ratnayake offered a blunt assessment of his side's lack of discipline in the field that allowed Pakistan to pile on heaps of runs in their second innings of the Karachi Test.
Addressing reporters in the aftermath of the third day's play which witnessed Pakistan motor along to a dominant position in the game, Ratnayake conceded the tourists had failed in executing their plans.
“We saw a lot of skill in the batting from Pakistan," he said.
"Saying that as a former bowler and coach, I admit we did not stick to our plans as well as we should have but they batted extremely well.”
Sri Lanka majorly suffered at the hands of a tremendous opening partnership between Abid Ali and Shan Masood as the duo added 278 runs before the first breakthrough for the visitors.
A stark contrast from what transpired on the day one where Pakistan were bundled out for 191, the Sri Lankan bowlers completely failed to apply the requisite pressure to elicit a false stroke from the batters.
“There might have been a little bit of moisture. As time went by, we saw it drying out since the heavy roller was used by Pakistan, following which it has become a placid wicket," Ratnayake added.
The Sri Lankan players looked evidently exhausted in the final session of the day after having spent a lot of time in the middle facing a lead constantly growing.
However, Ratnayake was quick to dismiss this as an excuse for their inadequacy and pointed towards 22-year-old paceman Lahiru Kumara's efforts in the field as the latter has been the only successful bowler for them in the second innings.
"I’m sure the players would have been tired but in a Test match, that shouldn’t be an excuse.
"We faltered but if Lahiru Kumara did well, I’m sure the others should have taken a leaf and this is a learning curve for the youngsters to do well in the future.”
Sri Lanka's chances of pulling off a win may have been dealt a huge blow but they will fancy themselves on a pitch that has shown signs of becoming increasingly easier for batting.
“We would like to restrict them as much as possible. Each session, we had a target of 70-80 runs but we could not stick to that.
"The target tomorrow thus would be to restrict them as much as we can. It’s up to the bowlers, not only Kumara and Embuldeniya – but the others also have to come into the game and bowl tightly to give ourselves enough time to chase," Ratnayake said.