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The Bulletin by Siddhartha Vaidyanathan
October 23, 2004
Pakistan 264 and 114 for 4 (Farhat 53, Fernando 4-27) need 304 runs to beat Sri Lanka 243 and 438 (Jayasuriya 253)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
A sensational spell of savagery from Sanath Jayasuriya was followed by a metronomic spell of fast bowling from Dilhara Fernando as Sri Lanka moved to the brink of a big win in the first Test at Faisalabad. Jayasuriya tore the bowling apart on his way to his third double-hundred, a wonderful 243, and almost single-handedly boosted the lead to a daunting 418. Fernando then prised out Pakistan's top four with subtle cutters and Sri Lanka's fightback, after playing catch-up for one-and-a-half days, was all but complete.
Of the 154 runs that Sri Lanka added this morning, Jayasuriya made 123. But unlike yesterday, when he was uncharacteristically subdued, he was back to his devastating best. He lost partners at regular intervals, as a middle-order collapse reduced them to 337 for 8, but his whirlwind 101-run partnership with Fernando - of which Fernando made just 1 - left the bowlers bruised and Pakistan's morale dented.
In 11.2 overs of the new ball, Jayasuriya saw red in a big way, clattering a further 79 runs, including four fours in one over off Shoaib Akhtar, the last of which was intentionally carved over the slips. Not content with that damage, Jayasuriya then accidentally stepped on Shoaib's foot while both were ball-watching - a classic case of adding injury to insult.
Jayasuriya farmed the strike without any problems, leaving Fernando with just one or two balls to face per over. He turned down several singles, but quickly made amends by belting the ball with beastly fury. He brought up his double-hundred with a stunning six off Shoaib, swivelling in a flash and pulling with amazing bat-speed, and then raced along even faster once the landmark was passed.
Shoaib's mind probably went back to that fateful no-ball which he bowled yesterday, as Jayasuriya edged one to Moin Khan when he had made just 9. But eventually, after adding 244 more to his total, Jayasuriya was the last man to fall, trapped lbw by Danish Kaneria for 253, the fourth-highest score by a Sri Lankan in Tests.
Faced with an uphill task, the Pakistan openers launched their reply with a flurry of boundaries, as Imran Farhat hooked at the slightest opportunity. The 50 came up in just nine overs and neither of the openers were in any trouble. But a nine-over spell after tea from Fernando left Pakistan reeling. He consistently delivered an arrow-straight line with the ball cutting and swinging just enough. Yasir Hameed misjudged one that nipped back sharply and rapped him on the pads. Despite Hameed showing his disappointment with a baffled look at the umpire, the ball appeared to be going on to hit the stumps (59 for 1).
The next two wickets were to identical deliveries as Asim Kamal and Farhat were undone by balls that pitched on middle and straightened a shade. Kamal was comprehensively bowled after attempting an expansive straight-drive, while Farhat was stone-dead lbw when he failed to get bat onto ball (86 for 3). Fernando landed one more blow soon after as Inzamam-ul-Haq, who was extremely scratchy in his 30-ball innings, lost his off stump after completely misreading the line (91 for 4).
Yousuf Youhana was nearly dismissed by Rangana Herath a few overs before the close but Steve Bucknor didn't spot the ball popping off his bat onto boot straight to the short-leg fielder. Youhana was unbeaten on 23 when stumps were drawn, but Pakistan would need a minor miracle to save this one.
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