Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Abu Dhabi, 2nd day October 19, 2011

Patient Taufeeq puts Pakistan in charge

36

Pakistan 259 for 1 (Taufeeq 109*, Hafeez 75, Azhar 60*) lead Sri Lanka 197 by 62 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The painstaking efforts of Pakistan's top order put their side in control against a helpless Sri Lankan attack which was remorselessly taken apart on an unresponsive surface, first by the positivity of Mohammad Hafeez and then by the self-denial and accumulation of Taufeeq Umar and Azhar Ali.

After Hafeez had batted with purpose in a productive morning session, Taufeeq and Azhar stonewalled at under two runs an over till tea before displaying some urgency in the final session to leave Sri Lanka deflated in the Abu Dhabi heat. Taufeeq played second fiddle to Hafeez, blocked half-volleys after lunch along with Azhar Ali and displayed refreshing freedom after tea to reach his second century in three Tests. Azhar, mostly bordering on the over-cautious, continued to display the solidity that has marked his short career with another half-century in a partnership which grew to 141 by the end of the day.

Nothing worked for Sri Lanka after their batsmen had collapsed yesterday. Mahela Jayawardene - one of the safest slip fielders around - failed to hold on to the only real chance that Pakistan gave during the day. Azhar, on 7, edged Rangana Herath towards slip but Jayawardene could not grasp the ball as it died in front of him. Towards the end of play, umpire Tony Hill failed to spot a clear inside edge off Taufeeq's bat into the wicketkeeper's gloves when he was on 102.

The tone for Pakistan's dominance was set by Hafeez in the first over of the day bowled by Chanaka Welegedara which went for 10. Sri Lanka would have wanted more from their seamers in the morning, but an in-form Hafeez proved hard to crack on the flat pitch. The heat also restricted the length and effectiveness of the seamers' spells; only Herath consistently troubled the batsmen with clever use of flight and variations, something not reflected in his returns of 33-9-53-1 for the day. Herath beat Hafeez with flight and turn off his third delivery and would have sneaked a carrom ball through him but for a late inside edge.

Hafeez targeted the seamers and eventually broke free against Herath to loft him for a straight six before being trapped in front with an arm ball. Pakistan stalled inexplicably after Hafeez's departure, defending everything and refusing to take charge of a second session they should have dominated. They should have taken the lead before tea but with Azhar remaining stuck on 7 for 43 deliveries at one stage as they scraped 59 runs in 30 overs in the second session.

They seemed to have woken up at the stroke of tea, though, with Azhar taking Suranga Lakmal for consecutive fours. Taufeeq, on 65 off 200 deliveries, came out a changed batsman after tea. He took 35 off his next 59 balls to reach his century with two boundaries and a tuck off Lakmal in the 86th over. The landmark reached, he shut shop for the rest of the day, scoring only nine off his final 37 deliveries. Pakistan still collected 85 off 31 overs after tea, finally attempting to rub in their advantage. The second new ball came and went, almost unnoticed.

At no stage during their partnership were they pretty to watch, but Taufeeq and Azhar will rightly point to the scoreboard, and to Pakistan's position, to show that it was worth the grind.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • zerotollerance on October 20, 2011, 6:16 GMT

    Another batting collapse by sl. Another bad day for sanga and mahela. Is it time for the two to retire and let young guys take over. At least then we will loose games but will have a team or the future. Now loosing and nothing for the future. Young talent dinesh chandimal being wasted by not being played. Angelo Mathews in the form o his life coming to bat with tail Enders . Great captaincy dilshan.

  • FadeToBlack on October 20, 2011, 6:08 GMT

    As a SL supperter it's heartbreaking to see the depths our team has sunk to in such a short period of time. Well played to the Pakistanis who applied themselves and got themselves into a dominant situation. Sri Lanka should discard this new found negative theory and play the positive brand of cricket that is familiar to us. Dilshan opening is important in this aspect. Disappointed with the standard of umpiring though. Cant understand why the DRS is used in the ODI's but not in the Tests. It should be the other way round.

  • Dr.Hasan on October 20, 2011, 4:46 GMT

    Excellent performance by the bowlers to set up the second day and good work by the batsmen as well who played sensibly. Taufeeq finally getting a century though extremely lucky. I do feel for the Lankans as they really have had a very bad time with the umpiring decisions. The match could have been much more balanced had DRS been used. ICC needs to decide which is more important the longer format or the shorter format of the game, the DRS is available for the ODIs but not the tests which is really a joke as a wrong decision in a test match can have a much more significant effect on the match situation than an ODI. Hope Pakistan press on from here and take the win, they really ought to from here. Pakistan Zindabad !

  • anver777 on October 20, 2011, 4:43 GMT

    Pak is in a commanding position & surely will get a good lead then put pressure on SL.. lately SL's very negative & slow batting approach is hurting the team badly, when they play their natural game which is positive, then always build a good score. 1st inning total is very crucial in a test match, so SL be positive & show the world that matches can be won not only by bowling but by some strong batting too.... This is cricket & still any thing can happen in this test !!!!!

  • msidd on October 20, 2011, 3:46 GMT

    this team in no means need afridi in any format just give him one tribute match than force him to retire permanently misbah is doing excellent job

  • szaranger on October 20, 2011, 3:32 GMT

    Now we see the complete opposite of the last performance by Sri Lanka in an away game with Pakistan. Thilan Samaraweera scored back to back double centuries and he's not even in the side this time around, given he's the master of flat wickets. Taufeeq Umar and Mohammad Hafeez once again put up an excellent stand and it's gonna be tough couple of days at office for the Sri Lankans in the middle. HAPW Jayawardene needs to be replaced by Chandimal to strengthen the middle lower order and Chandimal needs more experience in the middle. Apparently the pitch is dying down and Sri Lanka might gain control when they walk into batting for the second time. But this has been a repeating pattern recently that Sri Lankan team collapse on the first test of a series.

  • Blal on October 20, 2011, 3:30 GMT

    Pakistan has done well so far and it seems they are going according to a plan, but are way too slow and if they think second SLanka innings will be a cake walk they might get a jolt...the pitch has nothing in it ....and the SL will bounce back. Therefore time is of essence and if Pak progress at the same pace as today...they might kill the test. SL problem seems to be its captain...I have nothing against Dilshan and I consider him a great batsman...but I am not fond of his captaincy. The SL needs a better captain irrespective of they save, win or lose this test!

  • on October 20, 2011, 1:52 GMT

    need to score little fast....force lanka to bat on 3RD DAY...

  • bMike on October 20, 2011, 0:13 GMT

    I still believe that Pakistan has a big chance to lose this match as they are not consistent performers. The best result they can achieve would be a draw

  • wrenx on October 19, 2011, 22:59 GMT

    Excellent day's cricket from Pakistan. I would have liked a few more runs on the board, seeing as the batsmen are set and the pitch is still true, but still good work all the same. Pakistan should aim for 90-100 per session tomorrow, and then put SL in to bat in what hopefully should be a slightly deteriorating wicket for a big win.

  • zerotollerance on October 20, 2011, 6:16 GMT

    Another batting collapse by sl. Another bad day for sanga and mahela. Is it time for the two to retire and let young guys take over. At least then we will loose games but will have a team or the future. Now loosing and nothing for the future. Young talent dinesh chandimal being wasted by not being played. Angelo Mathews in the form o his life coming to bat with tail Enders . Great captaincy dilshan.

  • FadeToBlack on October 20, 2011, 6:08 GMT

    As a SL supperter it's heartbreaking to see the depths our team has sunk to in such a short period of time. Well played to the Pakistanis who applied themselves and got themselves into a dominant situation. Sri Lanka should discard this new found negative theory and play the positive brand of cricket that is familiar to us. Dilshan opening is important in this aspect. Disappointed with the standard of umpiring though. Cant understand why the DRS is used in the ODI's but not in the Tests. It should be the other way round.

  • Dr.Hasan on October 20, 2011, 4:46 GMT

    Excellent performance by the bowlers to set up the second day and good work by the batsmen as well who played sensibly. Taufeeq finally getting a century though extremely lucky. I do feel for the Lankans as they really have had a very bad time with the umpiring decisions. The match could have been much more balanced had DRS been used. ICC needs to decide which is more important the longer format or the shorter format of the game, the DRS is available for the ODIs but not the tests which is really a joke as a wrong decision in a test match can have a much more significant effect on the match situation than an ODI. Hope Pakistan press on from here and take the win, they really ought to from here. Pakistan Zindabad !

  • anver777 on October 20, 2011, 4:43 GMT

    Pak is in a commanding position & surely will get a good lead then put pressure on SL.. lately SL's very negative & slow batting approach is hurting the team badly, when they play their natural game which is positive, then always build a good score. 1st inning total is very crucial in a test match, so SL be positive & show the world that matches can be won not only by bowling but by some strong batting too.... This is cricket & still any thing can happen in this test !!!!!

  • msidd on October 20, 2011, 3:46 GMT

    this team in no means need afridi in any format just give him one tribute match than force him to retire permanently misbah is doing excellent job

  • szaranger on October 20, 2011, 3:32 GMT

    Now we see the complete opposite of the last performance by Sri Lanka in an away game with Pakistan. Thilan Samaraweera scored back to back double centuries and he's not even in the side this time around, given he's the master of flat wickets. Taufeeq Umar and Mohammad Hafeez once again put up an excellent stand and it's gonna be tough couple of days at office for the Sri Lankans in the middle. HAPW Jayawardene needs to be replaced by Chandimal to strengthen the middle lower order and Chandimal needs more experience in the middle. Apparently the pitch is dying down and Sri Lanka might gain control when they walk into batting for the second time. But this has been a repeating pattern recently that Sri Lankan team collapse on the first test of a series.

  • Blal on October 20, 2011, 3:30 GMT

    Pakistan has done well so far and it seems they are going according to a plan, but are way too slow and if they think second SLanka innings will be a cake walk they might get a jolt...the pitch has nothing in it ....and the SL will bounce back. Therefore time is of essence and if Pak progress at the same pace as today...they might kill the test. SL problem seems to be its captain...I have nothing against Dilshan and I consider him a great batsman...but I am not fond of his captaincy. The SL needs a better captain irrespective of they save, win or lose this test!

  • on October 20, 2011, 1:52 GMT

    need to score little fast....force lanka to bat on 3RD DAY...

  • bMike on October 20, 2011, 0:13 GMT

    I still believe that Pakistan has a big chance to lose this match as they are not consistent performers. The best result they can achieve would be a draw

  • wrenx on October 19, 2011, 22:59 GMT

    Excellent day's cricket from Pakistan. I would have liked a few more runs on the board, seeing as the batsmen are set and the pitch is still true, but still good work all the same. Pakistan should aim for 90-100 per session tomorrow, and then put SL in to bat in what hopefully should be a slightly deteriorating wicket for a big win.

  • DeathPoke on October 19, 2011, 22:38 GMT

    Definately fantastic cricket from Pakistan! Why score runs quickly when you can build such an imposing first innings lead, I mean just think how demoralising this must be for the Sri Lankans. If Pakistan can score 250-300 tommorrow before declaring then the grind has been well worth it... And that is if they even decide to declare on day 3! I think if they get the choice they may well declare early day 4.

    -Poke-

  • on October 19, 2011, 22:01 GMT

    Great Play all round by Pakistan... For the Spirit of the Game, Taufeeq should have walked away as he was clearly Out after Tea.

    SriLanka Fans.. whats wrong ? you are trying to rebuild a team... to replace people like Jayasuriya, Chaminda Vaas, Malinga, and Murli all at the same time would be no easy feat for any cricket board.

    Given a series or two, I can assure you the Srilankan team will come back hard and strong !

  • on October 19, 2011, 22:01 GMT

    murali daran reitirement is badly effecting sri lankan test perfomance their approach is totally changed now . . .

  • Younus313 on October 19, 2011, 21:51 GMT

    259 for 1 or 359 all out? Some of us never happy! I would rather our batsman block half volleys as opposed to hitting the half volleys down a fielders throat!!! I am happy with the approach. Build a base and as the days wears on, accelerate! There is plenty of high class batting that can speed up the scoring but a collapse could only be round the corner! I do agree that we could rotate the strike more. I am more than happy with the signs Pakistan are showing as a Test team under Misbah...PAKISTAN ZINDABAD!!!

  • on October 19, 2011, 21:31 GMT

    much better.... Pakistani team... and getting even better day by day...

  • playitstraight on October 19, 2011, 21:11 GMT

    Very disappointed at SL's batting & bowling performance. The bowling department is without Murali and Malinga so I can understand why they are not taking too many wickets but the batting department all out for 197?!?!?! I mean come on SL that was a flat track there and SL should have scored at least 400. I understand that Dilshan was given a wrong decision but now even the openers, Sanga & Mahela are not performing consistently in Tests! P.Jayawardene should be replaced by Dinesh Chandimal to strengthen the batting department. I just can't understand why they give Paranavitana so many chances when he keeps failing over and over again and lets his team down! Oh yeah, and that other guy Thrimmanne, he just can't score a single boundary! And all SL supporters say that he is a good talent?!?! Well prove it then! There is too much pressure on Herath to take wickets all the time, the new fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep is not a talent as many have said. I would be surprised if SL draw this test!

  • PakCric786 on October 19, 2011, 20:29 GMT

    I don't know why some of my Pakistani brothers always complaining about Pak team if the lose wickets they complain about it, if they keep wickets in hands and play sensible cricket they still complain about it.. Chill guys we still got time to play InshAllah we will win and i see great future for Pak team... Btw y is everyone saying Sri Lanka played bad but not mentioning the bowlers bcoz they played outstanding cricket.. But i still think Sri Lanka is great team they got some good young players coming in they just need time to shape in... Well done Pak team and good luck to both teams.

  • USAPakCricFollower on October 19, 2011, 19:50 GMT

    Oh, where are all those naysayer Indians who were getting on this forum before the test started and prognosticating doom for Pakistan? Mostly not here now. It figures! @Q72941 - so you thought Pakistan would lose the match before it started, now your are complaining Pakistan would squander iniings defeat chance. Go watch IPL, man.

  • Kristy on October 19, 2011, 19:46 GMT

    I'm sure tomorrow Pakistan will gear up and will give big lead, 350+. That's good enough Sri Lanka to all out. When Sri Lanka came to play there attitude was not to win the game, its more like "lets play this one and see how it goes" approach.. and that doesn't work.. Very bad performance from Sri Lanka.. Mahela and Sanga just there for names, they have to prove that they are still good at batting..

  • MH19 on October 19, 2011, 19:23 GMT

    I am a Sri Lankan but sad to say we are not a good test side at all.We are a very good one day and a 20/20 side. Our batting is going from bad to worst thanks to IPL 20/20 as the players focus is how to make more money and who cares about the country or test cricket. I hope Geoff Marsh will show attitude and will change the current attitude of the players to think rationaly and focus on the areas of concern and change the attitude especially of the seniors in the team who think that they are the greatest crickerters the island has ever produced sadly mistaken.Change them now before its too late for betterment of our Cricket.

  • on October 19, 2011, 19:08 GMT

    well played guyzzz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! keep it up!!

  • on October 19, 2011, 19:08 GMT

    as long as they stayed at the crease i don't care about the scoring rate, have spent too many years watching Pakistan 150 for 7 at 4 an over....this boring grind is actually refreshing given there is so much time in this match.....

  • USAPakCricFollower on October 19, 2011, 18:55 GMT

    I disagree with most of my Pak friends here. This is test cricket and Pakistan is still rebuilding a test team. I agree with Misbah's strategy of batting 2 days and safely building a sizedable lead and give themselves still 2 days to bowl out Lanka. It may not be pretty to look at today but very effective. Look at the score - 259/1! How often have you seen that from Pak batsmen in Tests? Stop complaining and enjoy the lead.

  • waji_89 on October 19, 2011, 18:47 GMT

    That is why it is called a test match. By the way, Pakistan's run rate was 2.64. At least look the scorecard carefully b4 you say anything people. I personally think, it was refreshing(if not pleasing) to see Pakistani players applying themselves and not loosing wickets on some rash shots.

  • chintaka on October 19, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    Writers, you all look like Pak supporters, however, I see nothing wrong with the Pak apporoach. It was better to be safe, after all it was only the 2nd day.after putting SL in to soad and another reminder to them that they can only lose this test match by yet another pathetic batting display, which is supposedly SL's strength. Yet the Paks have all the time in the world tomorrow to put up 500+ and bat SL out of this contest. Also I think SL will seriously need to get phsycological counselling if they are to come out of this pathetic batting performances; as this was the 3rd time it happened in a row in the first test match of a serious. 1) England 2)Aussie 3)Pak

  • chamalqif on October 19, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    Once again, SL move bad to worst. They can't pass 200. they can't get 10 wickets. A flat wicket like USE, how bad they played. From this bowling attack, they will never take 20 wickets in a match. I doubt even a 10 wicket.

  • Deepfreezed on October 19, 2011, 18:14 GMT

    Here we go again. Sri Lankan batting fails on a flt track. Wonder what kind of pitches Sri Lankan batsmen prefer. They should really ask themselves if they should be playing as batters if they cannot even bat in flat tracks like these.

  • Q72941 on October 19, 2011, 18:03 GMT

    Taufeeq a super slow batsman should not be teamed up with another slow batsman. While Younis & Misbah - who make ODI looks-like a Test - are to follow, Asad should have been sent instead of Azhar. Even though Asad is not a dasher but still paces himself better than Taufeeq, Azhar, Younis and Misbah.

    Let's see how Pak ruin themselves a chance for Inning defeat.

  • shahbazhussain on October 19, 2011, 18:02 GMT

    @Bodhayan Chakraborty, even they are scoring low, the Pak team is still dominating and likely to win the contest with a good margin as projected in contrast to Team India who's captain already has said he does not like Test cricket and does not see its future that i could reach another 2000 tests.. See his comments before he appeared in the 2000 test again england. You had better ask your players to return the nature back to Cricket by banning IPL from Cricket!

  • ian_ghose on October 19, 2011, 17:58 GMT

    When I was a kid, I loved Sri Lankan cricket. It was refreshingly entertaining with the likes of Jayasuriya giving it a humpty, be it ODI or Test. But off-late, I'd have to say that Sri Lanka is the most boring test team around. It's one thing to lose wickets when you're going for quick runs, but they must be the only team that loses wickets while trying to ensure that they don't score!! Who'da thunk that they'd have been bowled out for less than 200 on the flatest of tracks while scoring at less than 2 r.p.o for the most of it! Sure, flat tracks are doing test cricket no favours, but teams that go crawl on such tracks are the ones that make it even worse. Hope this match yields a result and by the looks of Pakistanare doing a good job of it.

  • on October 19, 2011, 17:52 GMT

    Less than 2 runs an over is just Pathetic......This defensive strategy started with Inzamam captaincy has already ruinned Pak cricket over the years and is the main reason Pakistan loose all important crunch matches in major tournaments..This strategy based on fear of loosing adobted by management and looser Misbah ul haq will only make things worse..Pak cricket team needs a brave an proactive leader like the great Imran Khan and Wasim Akram.

  • MalikAnasAhmad on October 19, 2011, 17:37 GMT

    hmm lets see, tomorrow is the building time how well and Fast Taufeeq, Azhar, Younis and Misbah (the four laziest) can go

  • on October 19, 2011, 17:09 GMT

    These two teams are ruining test cricket. 2 runs an over on a flat track!!!

  • Okasha on October 19, 2011, 16:50 GMT

    Pakistan is 259/1 ...Pakistan should attack them tomorrow and score something about 480 or 500 and then put them under pressure by taking wickets and if they do this they will win the game by inning...but they should attack tomorrow,90 overs is the maximum to bowl in the day .Pakistan should play 70 overs and and should play attacking cricket and score 500...and then let them to play 20 overs,i am pretty confidence on Pakistani team,if they will bowl 20 overs tomorrow,they will get 2 or 3 wickets...

  • on October 19, 2011, 16:44 GMT

    Draw back with Azhar and Tauseef is they are not rotating the strike,very defencive,very bad strike rate,Century is not that impressive.Now onwards they should increase the tempo and go after the bowling and Taufeeq should do that.

  • on October 19, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    wow so refreshing from Pak batsmen, playing like Test match batsmen should play but I do agree with the writer that they almost became negative with there slow rate. They should easily average 4 or 5 runs/over on this track, Hope the remaininig batsmen go out swinging,

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  • on October 19, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    wow so refreshing from Pak batsmen, playing like Test match batsmen should play but I do agree with the writer that they almost became negative with there slow rate. They should easily average 4 or 5 runs/over on this track, Hope the remaininig batsmen go out swinging,

  • on October 19, 2011, 16:44 GMT

    Draw back with Azhar and Tauseef is they are not rotating the strike,very defencive,very bad strike rate,Century is not that impressive.Now onwards they should increase the tempo and go after the bowling and Taufeeq should do that.

  • Okasha on October 19, 2011, 16:50 GMT

    Pakistan is 259/1 ...Pakistan should attack them tomorrow and score something about 480 or 500 and then put them under pressure by taking wickets and if they do this they will win the game by inning...but they should attack tomorrow,90 overs is the maximum to bowl in the day .Pakistan should play 70 overs and and should play attacking cricket and score 500...and then let them to play 20 overs,i am pretty confidence on Pakistani team,if they will bowl 20 overs tomorrow,they will get 2 or 3 wickets...

  • on October 19, 2011, 17:09 GMT

    These two teams are ruining test cricket. 2 runs an over on a flat track!!!

  • MalikAnasAhmad on October 19, 2011, 17:37 GMT

    hmm lets see, tomorrow is the building time how well and Fast Taufeeq, Azhar, Younis and Misbah (the four laziest) can go

  • on October 19, 2011, 17:52 GMT

    Less than 2 runs an over is just Pathetic......This defensive strategy started with Inzamam captaincy has already ruinned Pak cricket over the years and is the main reason Pakistan loose all important crunch matches in major tournaments..This strategy based on fear of loosing adobted by management and looser Misbah ul haq will only make things worse..Pak cricket team needs a brave an proactive leader like the great Imran Khan and Wasim Akram.

  • ian_ghose on October 19, 2011, 17:58 GMT

    When I was a kid, I loved Sri Lankan cricket. It was refreshingly entertaining with the likes of Jayasuriya giving it a humpty, be it ODI or Test. But off-late, I'd have to say that Sri Lanka is the most boring test team around. It's one thing to lose wickets when you're going for quick runs, but they must be the only team that loses wickets while trying to ensure that they don't score!! Who'da thunk that they'd have been bowled out for less than 200 on the flatest of tracks while scoring at less than 2 r.p.o for the most of it! Sure, flat tracks are doing test cricket no favours, but teams that go crawl on such tracks are the ones that make it even worse. Hope this match yields a result and by the looks of Pakistanare doing a good job of it.

  • shahbazhussain on October 19, 2011, 18:02 GMT

    @Bodhayan Chakraborty, even they are scoring low, the Pak team is still dominating and likely to win the contest with a good margin as projected in contrast to Team India who's captain already has said he does not like Test cricket and does not see its future that i could reach another 2000 tests.. See his comments before he appeared in the 2000 test again england. You had better ask your players to return the nature back to Cricket by banning IPL from Cricket!

  • Q72941 on October 19, 2011, 18:03 GMT

    Taufeeq a super slow batsman should not be teamed up with another slow batsman. While Younis & Misbah - who make ODI looks-like a Test - are to follow, Asad should have been sent instead of Azhar. Even though Asad is not a dasher but still paces himself better than Taufeeq, Azhar, Younis and Misbah.

    Let's see how Pak ruin themselves a chance for Inning defeat.

  • Deepfreezed on October 19, 2011, 18:14 GMT

    Here we go again. Sri Lankan batting fails on a flt track. Wonder what kind of pitches Sri Lankan batsmen prefer. They should really ask themselves if they should be playing as batters if they cannot even bat in flat tracks like these.