Sri Lanka succumb to Pakistan pressure
Brilliant maiden Test century from debutant Alam:
Fluctuating fortunes have marked the Second Test between Sri Lanka
and Pakistan at the P. Sara Oval on day two When play ended the
Pakistanis who were shot out for a low 90, hit back strongly to restrict
Sri Lanka to 240.
After conceding a lead of 150, the Pakistani batsmen gave an improved
display to wipe off the deficit and gain a lead of 28 with nine wickets
remaining and three more days left for a result. At the close they were
178 for one.
The Pakistanis owe their strong position to, first the bowlers Umer
Gul and Saeed Ajmal and later to batsmen Khurram Mansoor 38 and a
brilliant maiden Test century from Fawd Alam 102 and a responsible 35
from skipper Younus Khan. Both are unbeaten.
If the Pakistanis can continue the good work and make it their
business to gain a lead of about 175 to 200, and with the wicket likely
to deteriorate, the Lankans who failed to dig in and gain a bigger lead
might find themselves in the deep end. If and when that happens skipper
Khan will be ruing his decision not to play leg spinner Danesh Kaneira.
When the Pakistanis took strike a second time, it was a revelation to
watch their batsmen buckling down to play better. Openers Kurram Mansoor
and Fawd Alam gave them an encouraging start and showed the way putting
on 85,before Mansoor was well held by wicket keeper Dilshan off Herath
for 38 with two fours.
The Pakistanis who showed very poor technique and batted like novices
on the first day, hit back strongly on the second day to restrict Sri
Lanka to 240 all out, a lead of 150 after resuming on 164 for three.
Pakistan made a sad 90 in their first innings batting just 36 overs. The
Lankan innings lasted 80 overs.
Pakistanis were no where
When play began on day two the Pakistanis were no where in the
picture and it looked as though they were in for a lot of leather
chasing. But after an opening – get your eye in – up and down over from
skipper Younus Khan, he opted for Saeed Ajmal and Umer Gul his main
The wicket was still on the slow side and the overnight not out
batsmen Kumar Sangakkara on 81 and Thilan Samaraweera 13, found stroke
play not that easy because the ball was not coming on to the bat.
When Sangakkara and Samaraweera resumed the idea was to consolidate
and give momentum to the innings, grind the Pakistanis by putting a lot
of runs on the board and demoralize them.
The Lankans who dismissed their opponents after lunch on day one, had
in addition to the first day about two more days of batting before them.
Records were there for the asking and all they had to do was play their
But the Lankans did not bargain for the splendid spells of bowling by
of spinner Saeed Ajmal and strike bowler the hard working Umer Gul. With
no help whatsoever from the wicket, the two bowlers had to work hard for
While Ajmal pitched on a good line and length, flighted and varied
tantalizingly,the experienced Gul fired good pace and found movement to
break the back of the Lankan batting and hold them to a total of
240,when at one stage a total double than the one the Lankans
made,looked a possibility.
Ajmal 4 for 87
Ajmal a very deceptive off spinner with a repertoire of deliveries,
with the doosra being his main wicket taking weapon, bowled a brilliant
spell. From morning he bowled unchanged and none of the batsmen showed
mastery over him.
His 4 wickets for 87 in 31 overs was great reward. Gul who has been
improving with every outing, added to his growing stature and his
figures of 4 for 43 in 18 tells the story. He too pitched on a good line
and getting the ball to wobble around was unplayable. The delivery that
he bowled Sangakkara through the gate was a beauty.
Sangakkara and Samaraweera began well and seemed to be moving on,
when a sudden rush of blood saw Samaraweera pushing a ball to Mohammed
Aamer at mid off and scampering a single that was not necessary, the
easy way they were going.
Aamer was spot on with a direct hit which found Samaraweera short of
his ground. He made 21. 177 for 4. That wicket was a sacrifice and from
that moment onwards the Pakistani bowlers got on to and remained that
way till the final Sri Lankan wicket fell.
Sangakkara who was expected to show the way, never really got going
and after adding six runs to his overnight score of 81 was bowled by a
peach of a delivery from Gul. 189 for 5. Dilshan seemed to be going well
making 20 when he was ruled out caught behind by Akmal off Ajmal.
Dilshan did not look happy with the decision.203 for 6.
Nuwan Kulasekera and Rangana Herath went at 222 – 8. Kulasekera made
11 caught in the slips off Gul and Herath was leg before next ball for
no score. 222 for 8. Thilana Thusara deprived Gul of a hat-trick and
later went leg before to Abdul Rauff for one, 227 for 9 and Angelo
Matthews who played well for his 27 was last man out at 240, leaving
Ajantha Mendis not out on no score.
The Lankans had lost 7 for 76 which does not speak well for their
approach and batting. A lead of much more than 150 was what was expected
when the Lankans resumed on day two.
PAKISTAN 1st innings: 90
(N. Kulasekera 4-21, A. Mendis 3-20)
SRI LANKA 1st innings (overnight 164-3):
M. Warnapura lbw b Gul 11
T. Paranavitana c Akmal b Ajmal 26
K. Sangakkara b Gul 87
M. Jayawardene c Manzoor b Ajmal 19
T. Samaraweera run out 21
T. Dilshan c Akmal b Ajmal 20
A. Mathews c Yousuf b Ajmal 27
N. Kulasekera c Misbah b Gul 11
R. Herath c and b Gul 0
T. Thushara lbw b Rauf 1
A. Mendis not out 0
EXTRAS: (b8, lb1, nb8) 17
TOTAL (all out, 80 overs) 240
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-28 (Warnapura), 2-82 (Paranavitana), 3-133 (Jayawardene), 4-177 (Samaraweera),
5-188 (Sangakkara), 6-203 (Dilshan), 7-220 (Kulasekera), 8-220 (Herath), 9-227 (Thushara), 10-240 (Mathews).
BOWLING: Gul 18-1-43-4 (nb4), Aamer 13-2-36-0, Rauf 11-1-38-1 (nb3), Ajmal 31-5-87-4, Younus 7-1-27-0 (nb1).
PAKISTAN 2nd innings:
Khurram Manzoor c Dilshan b Herath 38
Fawad Alam not out 102
Younus Khan not out 35
EXTRAS: (b1, lb1, nb1) 3
TOTAL (for one wkt, 53 overs) 178
TO BAT: Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah-ul Haq, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Umar Gul,
Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Aamer, Abdur Rauf.
FALL OF WICKET: 1-85 (Manzoor).
BOWLING: Kulasekera 9-2-25-0, Thushara 10-0-32-0, Mathews 6-0-20-0, Mendis 11-0-43-0 (nb1),
Herath 16-1-53-1, Paranavitana 1-0-3-0.