Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Abu Dhabi, 1st day December 31, 2013

Junaid, Bhatti make it Pakistan's day


Pakistan 46 for 1 (Shehzad 25*, Manzoor 21) trail Sri Lanka 204 (Mathews 91, Junaid 5-58, Bhatti 3-65) by 158 runs
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The Pakistan seamers shredded Sri Lanka's batting in unthreatening conditions to wrest control after a manic second session in Abu Dhabi. Junaid Khan maintained his stranglehold over the Sri Lanka batsmen, picking up his fourth five-wicket haul against them, but central to the collapse was debutant Bilawal Bhatti's post-lunch spell during which he picked up three wickets - two of them in one over. The twitter feed was abound with the question: "What did they eat for lunch?"

The pitch in its green guise didn't offer much to the bowlers, but it was a mix of tight bowling and loose batting from Sri Lanka that resulted in their innings slipping off the precipice. From a comfortable 66 for 1 at lunch, Sri Lanka lost seven wickets for 58 runs and only a rearguard action from their captain, Angelo Mathews, who scored a counterattacking 91, prevented a complete capitulation.

Sri Lanka were eventually bowled out for 204 and Pakistan had a comfortable start to their innings till a run-out off the last ball took some sheen away. Khurram Manzoor was left stranded mid-pitch after dabbing a ball to cover, and Pakistan ended the day on 46 for 1.

It all started in the first over of the second session when Kaushal Silva - who had been patient, but circumspect, all morning - played inside the line of a short-of-a-length delivery from Bhatti only to edge it to the keeper. Sixty-six for 1 became 67 for 2, but Sri Lanka wouldn't have worried too much about it as they had the experienced pair of Mahela Jayawardene, who was playing his first Test in almost a year, and Kumar Sangakkara in the middle.

That safety cushion was soon pulled away by Bhatti in his next over. He got his second delivery - probably the best of the day - to rear awkwardly on Jayawardene and the batsman edged it to the keeper. However, the TV umpire came to Jayawardene's rescue as the replays showed the bowler had overstepped. The very next ball though - a yorker, Jayawardene edged it to Adnan Akmal again. Seventy-six for 2 became 76 for 3.

Two balls later, Chandimal played a poor shot, chasing a wide delivery, and paid the price as the edge flew straight to Misbah-ul-Haq at first slip. Seventy-six for 4.

At the other end, Sangakkara was watching the drama unfold but was unfazed and was defending solidly. However, three overs after Bhatti's double-strike, his eyes lit up seeing Junaid bowl a wide, length ball. Nine out of 10 times, Sangakkara would have crashed it through covers, but today he slashed it straight to the cover-point fielder. Pakistan were ecstatic to see the back of their tormentor. Eighty-two for 5 now.

Junaid then added three more wickets - Prasanna Jayawardene edged to Akmal, before Sachithra Senanayake and Rangana Herath were removed off successive deliveries - to complete his five-for in an eight-over spell. Hundred-and-twenty-four for 8.

Running out of partners, Mathews tried to score whenever possible - he hit three boundaries in a Bhatti over immediately after Sangakkara's departure - and brought up his half-century in 49 balls. He added a crucial 61 with Shaminda Eranga, who scored 14, for the ninth wicket and 19 for the tenth wicket during a period of play where Pakistan allowed him to farm the strike. He was finally stumped off a Saeed Ajmal doosra early in the third session, falling in the ninties for the third time in his career.

The dramatic second session was in complete contrast with the first, during which Sri Lanka, despite the loss of Dimuth Karunaratne, had looked comfortable after being put in to bat. The two openers added 50 in the first hour of the day as Pakistan didn't make the impact they would have hoped for. However, the winds started changing direction in the second hour as the bowlers adjusted their lines and length to stem the flow of runs.

In the second over after the first drinks break, Junaid had a strong appeal for caught behind against Silva turned down by the umpire. Pakistan immediately called for a review - they had reasons to be confident as the ball made a sound as it passed the bat - but with no Hot Spot available for this series, the decision went in the favour of the batsman, extending Pakistan's poor run with the DRS (Pakistan wasted another review in the 55th over).

Four overs later, Junaid had Karunaratne pushing away from the body and Asad Shafiq took a smart reflex catch at gully to end the 57-run opening-wicket stand. The wicket slowed Sri Lanka's pace down - 16 runs came in the 12 overs after the drinks break. The runs dried up, and Pakistan had a feast after lunch.

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Hey on January 1, 2014, 18:47 GMT

    To that dude who's disappointed in Hafeez + Younis' inclusion. Well First one I agree with and second one? Especially after todays performance. Until Misbah and Younis retire, #4 and #5 positions are taken. Sorry about Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Sohaib Maqsood and Umar Akmal. #3 and to some extent #6 are available and the most competitive contenders are Haris and Fawad providing Azhar, Hafeez or Shafiq all fail/succeed. FC figures say it all..In line from 1st to have a place in the XI is 1.Fawad, 2.Haris, 3.Umar 4.Sohaib....The first three are the top FC performers regularly. Fawad needs a chance in the squad let alone the XI tho

  • Hey on January 1, 2014, 18:41 GMT

    Pakistan has always been in the top 3 of bowling attacks in the world sometimes even first[ahead of saffers and aussies] so that's why they win matches, especially test 1s. But people making claims saying that India has a better bowling attack than Sri Lanka is bizarre. As a Neutral Pak fan I would say that Sri Lanka is just in a rebuilding phase[even tho mahela imo is finished] and that's why they're learning the hard way. people lie 'yousufahmed1' making claims that SL is worse than Nepal is laughable. Remember that both Pak and SL have beat Saffers in ODi series, something which India has failed to do this year. However, Indias batting is the strongest I believe in the subcontinent[purely because of Kohli, Pujara who isn't in the Odi squad? and Rahane] but still has flat track bullys like Dhawan and Rohit. Which is why I believe that PAK is the strongest Test Side in Asia currently since remember Bowling wins test matches, Batting draws it and our Batting is also strengthening too

  • ESPN on January 1, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    @yusufahmed1: how long we gonna compare the Zimbabwe situation? You're acting like India's never lost to them. Incidentally, they have. Secondly, you've also lost to Bangladesh in ODIs recently on numerous occasions, Pakistan's never lost to them except the one match that was fixed during 90's World Cup (I think it was the 90's). Pak doesn't laugh at Indians for that. Grow up, bro. Statistically, India v Pakistan, Pak has won more tests and ODIs head to head. Does that mean Pak is better? No. Does that mean India is the best? No. Grow up, bro.

  • Syed on January 1, 2014, 8:19 GMT

    It was really very painful when A.Mathews started to bowl the second over of the Pak Innings, because of the M. Shami, now Indian bowling attack is much better than the SL, IMHO. SL needs to find some decent bowler otherwise whatever the respect they earned during Arjuna, De Silva, Jaysuria, Vaas and Murli era will be in vain. Just look how WI performed in today's match, and we all know there was a time when WI were incincible. On batting front also, no one is looks capable to replace Sanga, Mahela and Dilshan. A worried Pakistani Fan.

  • Yousuf on January 1, 2014, 8:14 GMT

    @ Haroon Rashid Is that the reason why your team is yet to win a single match against India in World cups. How many times indian batsmen have blowed your bowling attacks. At least we don't get thrashed by ZIM like you with all the pace might.

  • Martin on January 1, 2014, 8:12 GMT

    @messa1, ok mate. thanks for ur suggestions.. hereafter we will play only in sub continent to stay on top of the icc rankings... ok now shall we have a Ind Vs SL match? you can choose the venue... in India? in Sri Lanka? in bangladesh? in mars? how abt tat?

  • Rohan on January 1, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    @ Haroon Rashid : No prizes for guessing! Which asian country has been losing everywhere to the most mediocre bowling attack in Asia? Yes, SL has always strugged with everything.

    Honestly and strangely, inspite you running down on India, I feel like running down on SL which I believe is the 'Blade-Runner effect' because there was once a time I loved the SL team.

  • Dummy4 on January 1, 2014, 7:49 GMT

    I have no doubt if there is a match between an All-time India Eleven and An All-time Pakistan eleven, Pakistani bowlers will blow Indian batting to peices. The likes of Imran, Wasim and Waqar and Fazalr will be too much for any all-India Greates to stay on the ptich for more than a while.

  • Khalid on January 1, 2014, 7:21 GMT

    With Shehzad caused run out, the top order failed to perform. So, SL score does not seem meagre at all.

  • Yousuf on January 1, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    @ Haroon Rashid Talk all you want but India has won all the trophies outside Asia with their bowling attack. And thrashed ZIM where your team lost a Test match to ZIM as well. Though I respect Pakistan and envy their bowling attack like true Pak fans also envy India's batting. And we always wish if their was Indo-Pak 11 we would have won all the matches. Peace.

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