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Pakistan picked up a moral victory in the second cricket test against Sri Lanka at Colombo, but the series scoreboard still reads 1-0 in favour of the hosts as the teams head into the final match of the 3 test series at Pallekele on 8th July, Sunday. Sri Lanka were bowled out midway through Day 5 for 391, thereby conceding a first innings lead of 160 runs, giving Pakistan an outside shot at forcing a win. Kumar Sangakkara fell short of his double hundred for the second straight set, getting trapped leg before on 192. Pakistan batted briefly in their second innings for 18 overs, scoring 100 runs to ensure that they did not lose the game before having a second crack at the Lankans. However, Sri Lanka survived the end of the day without much fuss to ensure that the match ended in a draw.
Sri Lanka resumed play this morning at 278-5, having lost 4 wickets for 42 runs late on Day 4 to put the fear of God into the dressing room. Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews calmed nerves though by batting right through the first session and ending any hopes Pakistan might have had of enforcing the follow-on.
Sangakkara made his way through to 187 at lunch and looked good for that double hundred that eluded him by a solitary run in Galle. Mathews meanwhile had posted 46, and looked largely untroubled as the pitch refused to offer any assistance to the Pakistani bowlers.
That changed almost immediately after the interval as wickets once again fell in a heap, with Sri Lanka losing their last 5 batsmen for 24 runs. Mathews was the first to go, caught behind off Junaid Khan for 47, with Sangakkara soon following suit, gifting his wicket to Abdur Rehman for 192, to once again miss out on a double hundred.
The bowlers offered no resistance with Junaid picking up a 5 wicket haul, while Rehman chipped in with 4 as Sri Lanka was bowled out for 391, conceding a lead of 160 runs.
Pakistan had the opportunity to go for the jugular with 57 overs left in the day, and opted to go for some quick runs, racing to 99-2 on the stroke of tea. Taufeeq Umar was unbeaten on 41 at Tea, with Mohammad Hafeez making 21 and Abdur Rehman chipped in with a quickfire 36 having been bumped up the order to up the ante.
Pakistan surprisingly came out to bat after tea, playing 8 balls to score 1 run before declaring, thereby costing themselves an additional 2 overs as well, which could have been saved had the team declared at Tea. However, despite that obvious gaffe, Sri Lanka were left with the task of batting 37 overs to score 261 runs to win the test.
The Lankan openers opted to take on the challenge, racing to 29 in 4 overs to give Pakistan something to think about. However, the game soon settled into a predictable rhythm with Sri Lanka opting to play out the day with minimum fuss. To make matters interesting, Pakistan picked up the wickets of both the openers - Tillakaratne Dilshan for 28 and Tharanga Paranavitana for 32 as Sri Lanka slid to 78/2 in 21 overs. There were to be no further casualties though as the two captains agreed on a draw after the following over, bringing an early end to proceedings.
Sri Lanka: T Dilshan, T Paranavitana, K Sangakkara, M Jayawardene (c), T Samaraweera, A Mathews, P Jayawardene (wk), N Kulasekara, N Pradeep, R Herath, S Randiv
Pakistan: T Umar, M Hafeez, Y Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (c), A Ali, A Shafiq, A Akmal (wk), A Rehman, S Ajmal, A Cheema, J Khan
Pakistan 1st Innings 551/6 declared (147 overs, 3.74 rpo)
M Hafeez 196(331) R Herath 2-164
A Ali 157(295) A Mathews 1-55
Sri Lanka 1st Innings 391 all out (124.4 overs, 3.13 rpo)
T Dilshan 121 (195) J Khan 5-73
K Sangakkara 192 (351) A Rehman 4-78
Pakistan 2nd Innings 100/2 declared (18 overs, 5.55 rpo)
A Rehman 36 (22) S Randiv 2-28
T Umar 41* (57)
Sri Lanka 2nd Innings 86/2 (22 overs, 3.90 rpo)
T Paranavitana 32 (72) A Rehman 1-19
T Dilshan 28 (33)
- 09/07/2012 17:29 - Rain washes out Day 2 of Pallekele Test
- 08/07/2012 10:07 - Pakistani bowlers restore parity after batsmen post modest total
- 05/07/2012 16:25 - Sangakkara returns to the top of the world rankings