Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Abu Dhabi, 3rd day

Late strikes put Pakistan on top

The Report by Devashish Fuloria

January 2, 2014

Comments: 126 | Text size: A | A

Sri Lanka 204 and 186 for 4 (Silva 81, Sangakkara 55, Junaid 2-46) lead Pakistan 383 by seven runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Bilawal Bhatti celebrates dismissing Mahela Jayawardene, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Abu Dhabi, 3rd day, January 2, 2014
Bilawal Bhatti dismissed Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jawaywardene off successive deliveries © AFP
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Bilawal Bhatti and Junaid Khan picked up three wickets late on the third day to put Pakistan in a dominant position at stumps on third day despite Sri Lanka erasing the first-innings deficit. Bhatti removed the experienced duo of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene in successive deliveries, while Junaid dismissed the set Kaushal Silva off the last ball of the day to put a win within sights.

A 99-run second-wicket stand between Sangakkara and Silva was reviving memories of Sri Lanka's second-innings fightback two years ago when a double-century from Sangakkara helped them wipe off the 314-run deficit and save the Test. It was a similar determined response from Sri Lanka after conceding a 179-run lead. Sangakkara was unfazed and Silva was accumulating runs at his own pace, both going past their half-centuries.

But just when it seemed that Sri Lanka's fortunes were on the rise, an inspired spell from Bhatti pulled the rugs from underneath. In the final delivery of Bhatti's second over after the last drinks break, Sangakkara was drawn into a drive, but could only edge it as the ball moved away at the last instance. Younis Khan, at first slip, dived to his right and swooped a good low catch. In the next over, off the first ball, Jayawardene got one that kicked up from a length, hit the shoulder of the bat and lobbed up for the fielder at gully. Unplayable. It also meant that Jayawardene had edged three successive deliveries from Bhatti in the Test (the first one, in the first innings, was a no-ball).

Bhatti continued to trouble Dinesh Chandimal with pacy deliveries - one of them, a bouncer at 145 kph that hit the bat handle. But Silva, who had worked hard for his 81, helped Sri Lanka into lead. He looked set to take to take the fight to the fourth day but couldn't survive the last over from Junaid, edging the third delivery to the wicketkeeper.

For much of the day though, it had been Sri Lanka who had managed to claw their way back into the match. The top three batsmen continued the good work started by their bowlers, who picked up Pakistan's remaining six wickets before lunch on the third day.

Both Suranga Lakmal and Shaminda Eranga, fresh after a night's rest, found the right lengths and repeatedly got the ball to deviate to trouble the batsmen. They found some help from the pitch too. The surface had retained the greenish tinge from the first day, but there were a number of indents - created by the quicks over the last two days - which the two Sri Lankan seamers hit consistently.

A circumspect Asad Shafiq flicked Lakmal to square leg, where Silva took a smart diving catch. He had added only a solitary run to his overnight score of 12. Adnan Akmal didn't last long either edging Eranga to gully. Bilawal Bhatti, the debutant, gave Misbah company for 27 runs before perishing against the gentle medium pace of Angelo Mathews as he got a faint edge to the keeper.

Misbah was troubled by the seam movement as Lakmal beat him both with incoming and outgoing deliveries. The first boundary of the day on the off side came through Misbah's outside edge which was followed by an uncharacteristic attempt to slog a length ball. He continued to play and miss deliveries throughout the first hour, with some hitting the shoulder of the bat.

It was only when Rangana Herath was introduced that Misbah started looking comfortable. He reverse-swept the first ball from the spinner, then got a four with a conventional sweep in the same over. He also slogged Herath over deep midwicket for his only six of the innings, before finally being caught at long-on, trying to repeat the shot.

In response, the Sri Lanka openers stayed firm during a testing spell against the new ball to give the team its second solid start. As the score approached 50, Karunaratne was dismissed by a Junaid delivery that sneaked in between the bat and pad to strike the top of off stump. But a patient Silva kept the bowlers at bay with his tight defence and compact strokeplay. Ten of his 11 boundaries were on the off side - the cover drive being his most profitable shot - as he brought up his maiden half-century in 113 balls.

Silva had the solid Sangakkara with him for company. Sangakkara, despite the pitch showing signs of dual nature, scored an effortless half-century - his 43rd. During a 99-ball stay that included six boundaries, he did use a lifeline once after he was adjudged lbw early in the third session, the replays showing the ball had pitched outside the line of leg stump.

Sangakkara's dismissal, though, opened the gates for Pakistan and they were quick to snatch the advantage. The onus will now be on Chandimal and Angelo Mathews to stretch the fight for Sri Lanka.

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by hassanbhai5 on (January 4, 2014, 3:12 GMT)

pakistan have to get wickets in 1st session limit lead to 260 and play first of all defencively then accelerat

Posted by muhammadTaha on (January 3, 2014, 14:42 GMT)

Well done Angelo & Chandimal. You have turned the table in favor of Sri lanka. SL must give a fair chance to their bowling to get the Pakistanis out within 300runs. It is a difficult wicket to bowl but Pakistanis are not good chasers and their batting can panic under pressure of good fast bowling and specially the spin attack. Their are some magic patches in the pitch the spinners should search is out.

Posted by android_user on (January 3, 2014, 9:29 GMT)

@JohnSinder

No one wants a Test Match? Really ?

In last test match between Aus & Eng, there were 91,092 people at MCG.

But if you don't want to see a test match so just change the channel :P

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (January 3, 2014, 9:08 GMT)

Well done srilanka. 100 more runs will put srilanka in commanding position. The way they came back into match is really awesome. Mathews and danish are looking solid sensing victory here for srilanka. We can't expect from Pakistan to chase any thing above 200- 225.

Posted by mzm149 on (January 3, 2014, 9:02 GMT)

@whyshoulditell dontwanttoshare: Haha I like your wishful thinking.

Posted by first_slip on (January 3, 2014, 9:02 GMT)

@JohnSnider, go and watch American Football, or world series baseball (only US states playing even though it call world series, lol) orwatch boring football

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 3, 2014, 8:50 GMT)

Well done Chandi and Angelo. But, until the last ball bowled, I'm deadly scared! Please don't lose your concentration, specially after lunch. Now you have build a nice innings, so please don't throw it away. Try to score 1 by 1, rather than expecting boundaries. Please concentrate well. Don't throw away your wicket. Try to build a lead something like 250-300. Until it's done, don't stop playing carefully. You can do it! Come on! Pakistan players are real fighters, so until the last ball is bowled, I'm not sure. Heart is beating :P

Posted by android_user on (January 3, 2014, 8:38 GMT)

Pak will win by an inning

Pak will win by 10 wickets

The targert for Pak will be under 100

and now

one more wicket and target will be under 150

why we don't just appreciate Srilanka's efforts

why we can't understand that even 100 runs are enough to put Pak batsmen under pressure.

Posted by SriLankanYoungBlood on (January 3, 2014, 8:00 GMT)

@Fast_Track_Bully Most of SL fans r Mahela,Sanga fans. they don't mind win or loose they want only both 2 get big hundreds. but Mahela ends with 5 and 0 and Sanga could only one good(avearge) score. same tame most hater of SL fans "Dinesh Chandimal" play well against pak bowling giving online training 2 so called Legends .

Posted by mzm149 on (January 3, 2014, 7:57 GMT)

One more wicket down and Sri Lanka will lose the chance of crossing 150. Pakistan will hunt that out in 2 sessions.

Posted by JohnSnider on (January 3, 2014, 7:51 GMT)

Stop test cricket or limit it by 90 over max for one team . It is a stupid game goes for 5 days , tires everyone, batsman just stop the ball , he is not obligated to score, has no pressure. Who wants to watch it. No one so don't play

Posted by SLslider on (January 3, 2014, 7:49 GMT)

Is this the best bowling attack in the world?? Most toothless attack in the world I say.

Posted by ajithabey on (January 3, 2014, 7:38 GMT)

Good to see young Chandimal who has played only 8 test matches and Mathews taking on the fight to Pakistan. If they come up with big hundreds Pakistan will be grovelling tomorrow. The match is interestingly poised right now but Cricket is a game of glorius uncertainties.

Posted by SLslider on (January 3, 2014, 7:30 GMT)

What happened to the magician Ajmal??? I have been this for so long. Herath is class apart. Ajmal is not even close to Herath's guile. Ajmal is not able to pick a single wicket on these doctored tracks. Herath is the no. 1 spin bowler in the world. Period

Posted by exynos on (January 3, 2014, 7:19 GMT)

SLslider is an Indian.Pak fans please ignore him.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (January 3, 2014, 7:14 GMT)

Match was in the hands of Pakistan..but they threw it away lol.. Pakistan missed a great chance of winning here.Now bowl bowl and keep on bowling till the lead go past 200 runs..Hats off Pakistan.Only our team can turn a match upside down like that..Sigh!!

Posted by wapuser on (January 3, 2014, 7:06 GMT)

I loved and enjoyed the game thoroughly. Pakistan team, the TIGERS they are, brilliance they show ( although consistency in it is desired) roared back with vengeance and class. Kept the pressure on util the last over, absolute thrill to watch legends to score two centries (Misbah and Younus) and youngsters to show they way bowling with ambitions and awesome passion.... Love it, keep it up. Your are a talented bunch....... Always hold your heads high!!

Posted by SLslider on (January 3, 2014, 7:03 GMT)

Pak has no chance now. We are 47 ahead already and looking at PAK batting I believe 100 will be enough. We all now how they lose 6-8 wickets for only 12-15 runs so many times. So much for boosting by PAK fans We have to face it they are way behind SL in all aspects. They are struggling to take wickets on their doctored tracks. SL will win easily. PAK mediocre batsmen have no chance crossing 75-80 runs in the 2nd innings. Lions are clean sweeping this test series. They were very lucky to win that ODI series as well. Lions lead the way.

Posted by MelbourneMiracle on (January 3, 2014, 6:09 GMT)

Whilst not forgetting Mahela's contribution to SL Cricket over a decade, I think this decade is not the one for inconsistent legends. Time and standards demand more from the players and I don't see that Mahela is ready to offer what time and standards demand from him. He should take a wise decision soon so that he could hang up his boots respectfully. My team for the next test match: 1.K.Silva 2.Dimuth 3.Sanga 4.Thirimanne 5.Anji 6.Chandimal (WK) 7.Kithruwan 8.Sachithra 9.Herath 10.Eranga 11.Lakmal

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (January 3, 2014, 5:58 GMT)

Well done Pakistan!. I hope Pakistan will win it by 10 wickets. A team with full of 'legends' facing reality of their standards!. Why some familiar SL fans are missing here for the last few weeks? Oh.. they are waiting for a defeat of India to celebrate! If your team do not have anything to celebrate, just do that!

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (January 3, 2014, 5:21 GMT)

@ Jury : You need to visit the Indian forums since CT2013, and I am really sad that we are only able to deliver a small part of the love and affection that we got.

Posted by Philippe on (January 3, 2014, 4:37 GMT)

I think Misbah is just same as India's rahul dravid. Had he been playing same no. of years as rahul dravid played, his stats would surely been better than rahul dravid.

Posted by Fogu on (January 3, 2014, 4:08 GMT)

Thanks rezauk. I used to enjoy Yusuf's batting and I remember there was some politics within the team that caused poor teamwork and some senior members were suspended. In tests some senior leadership is needed along with a few new talents who can learn from the seniors. However, recent crop of young players all over the world are influenced by T20 and have forgotten the art of rotating strikes. Making the opposing team run after balls and tiring them out is also part of cricketing strategy but too often we are seeing batsmen go for 4's & 6's in test.

Posted by ajithabey on (January 3, 2014, 3:15 GMT)

Good sensible batting by the young SL openers followed by Sanga and Chandimal. Unfortunately Mahela missed out to a fine delivery which most batsman would have struggled to keep out. It is indeed an uphill task for the rest of the batsman and hopefully they will concentrate fully today to save this game. It has been good cricket allround although Sri Lanka could have done better if Silva was around. Let's hope the SL selectors will keep the openers and the opening bowlers going instead of experimenting with others as they have shown good temperament required for tests.SL still needs a good spinner to augment the bowling dept as Senanayake floats the ball more than spinning it. A right arm leg spinner may help in future games especially on the 4th and 5th days of a test match.

Posted by tao585 on (January 3, 2014, 3:06 GMT)

A lead of 200 by Sri Lanka might prove decisive. Interesting game ahead

Posted by electric_waco_WAP4 on (January 3, 2014, 3:03 GMT)

@charita...please check Mahela's away batting ave before you go bonkers..he is good ONLY in Srilankaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Posted by ZeeshanAdeel on (January 3, 2014, 2:44 GMT)

I am Pakistan and glad that Pakistan can't win from an innings..... Now at least they wouldn't over-confident....

Posted by Coolbanker1234 on (January 3, 2014, 2:16 GMT)

I am a huge Mahela fan, and he has been a great ambassador for Sri Lankan cricket. But I think the time has come for him to retire. yes, he got a brute of a ball yesterday, but his innigs on the first day showed me that he has lost that hunger. I think Sri Lanka should start their rebuilding phase with Sanga to hang around to support the young guys coming through. lets give Vithanage, Silva, Kusal Perera, Priyanjan, and some of the other guys an extended run in the team. Dont also agree with giving the gloves back to Prasanna. He is the best keeper in the country, but his batting has gine down a lot in recent times and we need to try someone new in that position. Dont mind Chandimal getting the gloves again.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 1:45 GMT)

@Fogu, its not a rocket science to understand why Yusuf is not in team. His career has ended sadly just like every other player. His comeback will be useless as he hasn't played cricket for long. We have to move on. Its better to give his place to a youngster and build a new team around Misbah and Yunis.

Posted by Attractivue on (January 2, 2014, 22:59 GMT)

@shahnbej, are you kidding me? His average pace is 139 and fastest around 145KPH.

He did swing the ball in the first session of SL's 2nd innings. Are you seriously watching the game?

Posted by Messa1 on (January 2, 2014, 22:35 GMT)

It's time Mahela to be dropped or ask him to retire. He's seriously out of form and I don't think he will make any score in the next test match either. Selectors should bring in Kithruwan or Ashan Priyajan and DROP Mahela.(Unfortunately his time is over). Also Prassanna J. needs to be warned, if he fail again in the 2nd innings

Posted by Haiderpakawsome on (January 2, 2014, 22:30 GMT)

Wow Mahela is the most consistent among both the teams. Another golden duck. lol!!!

Posted by   on (January 2, 2014, 22:13 GMT)

oh noooo!! mt fear is true pakistan look like they are gonna flop in their chase!! :(

Posted by lionspaw on (January 2, 2014, 21:27 GMT)

Sri Lanka will win the match by 8 runs!!!!! ANY BETS???????

Posted by rezauk on (January 2, 2014, 21:16 GMT)

ref Fogu - I'm not in the know but both Yusuf and Younis have good test records but unfortunately more often then not these day they struggle against real pace. At 22-2 I've seen you YK disappear within an over or 2. We need to give young talented batsmen a chance - those who can rotate the strike and hit the bad ball for 4. Test cricket is all about avoiding fielders - I don't feel sorry for batsmen who smash the ball at fielders and then think themselves unlucky. If you look closely at really talented batsmen they play their shots early or late to find gaps be it against spin or REAL pace. :)

Posted by Bota on (January 2, 2014, 21:05 GMT)

Biggest issue with Pakistan batting is Asad Shafique and Adnan Akmal they were very poor and will continue to be.

Posted by TMuhammad on (January 2, 2014, 21:05 GMT)

Looking at the Comments of many fellow, Tendulkar and Dhoni should Thank that they were not playing for Pakistan otherwise they could not even have played half of the Matches and made records.

Posted by Desihungama on (January 2, 2014, 20:53 GMT)

Really really enjoyed watching Lakmal and Eranga bowling. From Pak fan. Real good bowling, great lines and hitting the right areas consistently.

Posted by roook on (January 2, 2014, 20:08 GMT)

Why hafeez fails in test is because he is bad in making singles. He has to go for strokes to get runs in test where there is no fielding restriction will always cost you your wicket

Posted by JustTalkCricket on (January 2, 2014, 20:07 GMT)

I hope Misbah puts a thirdman to protect leak of runs. I have lost count how many time edges went to thirdman boundary.

Chandimal scored most of his runs through thridman.

Posted by Fogu on (January 2, 2014, 19:14 GMT)

It is very funny to see some fans criticise Misbah. Without Misbah, PK team would have folded many a times. He is the rock of PK cricket. If PK can bring back Yousuf and build around Misbah and Younis with Shan, Maqsood, Asad and Shehzad, PK batting line up would be at their best. PK can blood new talents around Yousuf, Younis and Misbah. However, I am not sure why Yousuf is being kept out of the team. May be some informed PK fan can let me know.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2014, 19:06 GMT)

Pakistan have won so many test matches when the opposition suppose they are going to win this.(Ranjit Goonewardena)

Posted by   on (January 2, 2014, 19:01 GMT)

Inshallah tomorrow Pakistan will win easily.

Posted by shahnbej on (January 2, 2014, 18:56 GMT)

Rahat Ali has no pace or swing in his bowling, why he is in playing eleven? he is totally out of shape. I don't know, what we achieving from him in this match and in future. just wast.

Posted by WaqarDurrani on (January 2, 2014, 18:45 GMT)

Sri Lanka need a lead of at least 118 (Pakistan lowest 4th innings score to lose against SL is 117) and at max 189 (Pakistan highest successful chase in 4th innings against SL is 188/7) to win this match. Pakistan team still has to work hard to win this match. 6 wickets in hand are generally enough in test cricket to add 200 runs.

Posted by Haz95 on (January 2, 2014, 18:41 GMT)

Can we not have a wicketkeeper who can bat in a country of 125mill people? Stats say that Sarfraz Ahmed is the number one choice since he's far better keeper than any of the Akmals. If not Mohammed Rizwan then?

Posted by Herath-UK on (January 2, 2014, 18:41 GMT)

Mahela did it again which I said yesterday. Is he dictating to the team? He is out of form & he should come after Chandimal at least.

Posted by Haz95 on (January 2, 2014, 18:40 GMT)

We really need Umar Akmal[JUST THE BATSMAN NOT THAT PISSPOOR KEEPER], fawad alam or haris sohail in any of the #3 or #6 spots. Then people like Sohaib Maqsood can also be considered since the other three are the best young batsman in domestic cricket. Zulfiqar Babar is truly a good bowler[he recently took a 15wicket haul] but he has no place in the team. The Spin Duo of Abdur Rehman and Saeed Ajmal is easy to say, the best in the world at the moment. Rahat is good but he's not getting wickets, the main thing in Tests, we should give Talha a go since he's one of the best fast bowlers in PAK at the moment. Bhatti is a gem but he is still leaking too much, 4 an over in tests? Anwar is the superior batsman but has lost the tremendous swing he once had so yeah. But Anwar has the credentials to become a Pollock level Allrounde he improves his bowling, how he bowled in U 19 cup against India

Posted by goldeneye075 on (January 2, 2014, 18:27 GMT)

Win or lose, it was a pleasure watching some good Sri lankan fast bowling for a change. Eranga and Lakmal did a outstanding job in the morning session, although they did not took lot of wickets they bowled in right areas consistently, which we have not seen after Chaminda Vass's era!!! Pakistan bowlers do have a upper hand with their extra pace & they are always good fast men than their counterparts. Looking for a good fight back from sri lanka, to see a better contest on the 5th day ;-)

Posted by t20cric on (January 2, 2014, 18:23 GMT)

Both teams aren't really doing that well and once again Pak and SL seem like equals. Pakistan after being 327/4 at the end of day 2 got all out for 383 when they needed to make at least 400-450 to win comfortably. SL batted bad in the 1st innings but some what made up for it by adding 80 runs for last 2 wickets. Now in the next inning they open really well being 100/1 but end off the day at 186/7 which means they are effectively 7/4. Pakistan will need to get Chandimal, Mathews and Prassana out quick so the tail can't make much runs. SL batsmen can bat with tail quite well and we need to get all of there remaining recognized batsmen out. Shafiq really disappointed with his useless 13 at a strike rate half of MIsbah's. Adnan is a really bad batsman and needs to learn how to bat as well as keep. I think Sarfraz Ahmed/Mohammad Rizwan would have been a better choice for wicket keeper-batsman.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 2, 2014, 18:16 GMT)

Sri Lanka is capable enough. If Chandimal stop throwing his bat to corridor line balls, and build a patient innings of something like 80, and Prasanna something like 80, Angelo 80, Shaminda 20, Sachi 30, we can reach 250-300. Without a good score, it's not possible to threaten Pakistan. Pakistan's rest is not that steady, but Misbah and Younis Khan are there. Younis Khan always scored well against Sri Lanka. Even Hafeez can be threatening considering his form in ODI. He is a fighting player. Chandiiiiiii, we need you to do well!!! :)

Posted by   on (January 2, 2014, 17:48 GMT)

if srilanka exceed the lead of 150 then it'll certainly put pakistan in some serious pressure

Posted by   on (January 2, 2014, 17:42 GMT)

Adnan Akmal is the worst batsman among the Akmal brothers and one of the worst ever to play for Pakistan. I can't believe that the selectors can't find a better wicketkeeping batsman. He doesn't have to be the next Moin Khan. Just decent will do. Can't understand why they pick Adnan Akmal over and over again.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (January 2, 2014, 17:36 GMT)

This not a new situation for Srilanka. We have saved plenty of test matches before now this how we blood the youngsters in. You'll see! We just want to keep the Pakistanis out in the field for two more days to toughen them up!

Posted by android_user on (January 2, 2014, 17:36 GMT)

Had younus not been there misbah couldnt even have crossed 50.He doesnt knows how to accelerate..matthews added 80 with last two wickets and misbah 30 with 6!!!!!.Asad is good but at 3 or 4 position drop hafeez and rahat bring in Tapha and Sohaib!If sohaib plays tests he will get his temperament straightened out and his ODI ge os imprpve by leaps and bounds Best Of Luck Pak!

Posted by   on (January 2, 2014, 17:18 GMT)

SL virtually 7/4 so to put a 200 score is a mammoth task in this pitch SL has only 3 reputed batsmen namely Chandimal, Matthews & Prasanna Hope they can servive and put up a challenging score. SL chances are very less because of their poor performance in the 1st inning. MJ is failure to deliver it again

Posted by PakoP on (January 2, 2014, 17:04 GMT)

People who dislike Misbah-ul-haq needs to Learn cricket. He is not a every day player who come hit 6000 runs and no one remember them. Misbah is captaining successfully a side which is honestly the most difficult side in the world of cricket to manage and he is doing it very well and doing it in Style.

Posted by JustTalkCricket on (January 2, 2014, 16:55 GMT)

This game is nicely setup for tight finish and I think more in favour of SL just b'coz of 4th Innings chase and its presurre irrespective of whatever the target may be.

Does anyone remember 40 odd chase against SA and Pakistan was wobbling to be rescued by Misbah and Younis Khan.

Biggest issue with Pakistan batting is Asad Shafique and Adnan Akmal they were very poor and will continue to be.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2014, 16:50 GMT)

It was a brave decision to give two new caps to Shahzad and Bilawal.

We still have a place for Rehman in the team at the expense of Hafeez. Jaywerdene can not continue like this much longer and will click any time. It is going to be a very well fought series. With Yunus, Misbah and Asad Shafiq Pakistan batting appears balanced.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (January 2, 2014, 16:39 GMT)

people come on stop critisiszing misbah .. he is true legend.. you guys always critisise him bla bla .he should do this he should do that.highest run getter in 2013..11 wins out 25 test overall 2nd best record as a captain and win in this test will make him best captain..so learn some circket and stop critisise him

Posted by likeintcricket on (January 2, 2014, 16:30 GMT)

This day is clearly belong to SriLankans as they dominated two sessions and third one is a tie. They did loose three wickets but they did not collapse as every one expected after loosing two quick wickets. I don't think a 150 runs chase will trouble Pakistan on an easy paced wicket but still it will be a nervy chase. However any lead over 200 will be a real tester for fragile Pakistan batting. You take two centuries out from Pakistan inning and you are left with 70+ garbage runs. Its a shame that with 300 for three at one stage they could not reached even 400 on an easy surface against a relatively easy bowling. I don't want to blame Misbah only but he should have taken some pressure off by scoring fast and giving few strikes to lower order. They had a chance to take at least one equation out of the context by scoring 500+ and let Sri Lankans to play for the draw only. Now they are in with a chance and they know they have to play out two sessions and the game will be even.

Posted by Lion83 on (January 2, 2014, 16:27 GMT)

Chandimal has to make a big score tommorw with the help of Matthews and lower order. Anything over 200 will be tough to chase on the last day.

Posted by android_user on (January 2, 2014, 16:16 GMT)

Could be a tricky run chase as Pakistan only have 3 quality batsman in Younis Misbah and Asad. Hafeez Akmal and Shezhad are walking wickets. To think Yousuf is being kept out of team by these players. need to bring in Maqsood

Posted by android_user on (January 2, 2014, 16:15 GMT)

@slfools u stupid whover it is u have no clue about the cricket..its not about carrying home tracks and mahela is having so much of records against every team unlike so called test players.. so go fly a kite !!

Posted by dabbadubba on (January 2, 2014, 16:12 GMT)

mahela should retire immediately.. he is not much useful in the team any longer.. he is just blocking an upcoming yougsters place... or if for some sentimental reason, he is to be retained, he can be picked for playing at home pitches.

Posted by Muhammad_farhan1229 on (January 2, 2014, 16:07 GMT)

indion team is good only in his country bcz see the record of indion team in other country eng 4_0 whigtwash rsa 1_0test& 2_0 in odi there batsman gets run only in home not other country pak team is most better then india...

Posted by   on (January 2, 2014, 16:05 GMT)

At least 2 more wickets than Sri Lanka would have hoped, lost in last 10+ overs, thats a huge blow given Sri Lanka is still almost with no lead. However, hope, at least one of two remaining batting pairs (Chandimal, Mathews and Prasanna) would give a 100+ partnership and others will stick around to make a 200+ target. Even then, Sri Lanka need to play really well to win the match, now everything against them. Anyway, hope they will flight well for the last moment !

Posted by shahnbej on (January 2, 2014, 16:02 GMT)

I think due to Misbah turtle style batting and a negative approach created domino effect on Pakistanibatsmen. Only younus batting was positive and international test standards, if he was not there Misbah would sink all team less than 200.

Posted by HabeebRaja786 on (January 2, 2014, 16:00 GMT)

This match is very evenly poised but I may say Pakistan has an upper hand .It depends how both teams play the first session.

Its heartening to see Bilawal Bhatti producing a fine spell.He just reminds me of Great Malcolm Marshall.I am not comparing both as Bilawal has just started his career and quite novice to the field.

I am not sure why Rahat has been given a chance again, I think Talha deserved a chance.

Regarding Asad Shafique , I can not belive why ppl are questioning his inclusion in the team, he is only technically better batsman in the team.He deserves a long run in the team.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2014, 15:49 GMT)

I am sure SL will get a nice lead tomorrow and will put in Pak to bat. Pak, as usual, will lose the concept of chasing because of their sub-standard batting and will lose this. LOL @ Pak fans...maybe you need some batting tips by India :P

Posted by   on (January 2, 2014, 15:46 GMT)

This isnt the pitch nor the extreme pace for Misbah and Asad to play so defensively, Hafeez isnt a test material for sure. They surely made some wrong selection which might cause Pakistan to suffer. Any lead above 200 and SriLanka can fancy their chances.

Posted by Muhammad_farhan1229 on (January 2, 2014, 15:44 GMT)

ASSALAM U ALAIKUM to everybody...i think if pak lead 230 runs sl team would be in very troubl but it is a fun game so lets hom for the best result would be a win for pakistan.. amazing innings by younas & misbah but after that totaly laked pak batting which is not gud sighn for pak team the youngster need show som responsebity junaid & bhatti bowled realy well..M farhan

Posted by SL.FOOLS on (January 2, 2014, 15:37 GMT)

Oh Mahela you beauty !!! Another Duck. I guess we need to bring colombo track in UAE so you can score a run. You are not able to put bat to ball on this flat track. You truly are a Colombo track Bully.

Posted by NEIL_GD_S10 on (January 2, 2014, 15:31 GMT)

Now a days, Sri Lankan team are lacking many ingredient in all department and all this thing is increasing and thts very sad. Except Sanga & Mahela, none in this Team has international match standard or theirs charms like earlier dominating players used to have.

Posted by KamranMehdi on (January 2, 2014, 15:24 GMT)

If a player is not in form, he should be dropped (or get rested in polite way) and send him back to domestic arena. We can not rely on a player based upon his past performances.

Posted by wapuser on (January 2, 2014, 15:22 GMT)

Pak team has a great bowlers as always.sl pacers should talk to legends like waqar and waseem get some tips abt bowling.hope Chandimal will score a ton.

Posted by android_user on (January 2, 2014, 15:02 GMT)

I dont know why peoples memory is getting so short. on one inning failure we are criticising asad.in the last test he scored a century against mighty south africa.his performance is v good in test matches.we need to give him time. y ppl are not blaming misbah? infront of him pak lost its 6 wickets today but he just add 30 odd runs in his total.he didnt play fast enough.if we just tried to extend our lead to 200+ .we wud be in much better position.

Posted by KamranMehdi on (January 2, 2014, 14:59 GMT)

Team management should drop Asad Shafiq and squeeze in Azhar Ali at No. 3 so Hafeez can bat at No.6 (I wonder we really need Hafeez in tests)

Posted by Equanimous on (January 2, 2014, 14:56 GMT)

This match is headed towards a predictable srilanka win. Pakistan is not mentally strong enough to chase any sort of total in the fourth innings and they should never have bowled first after winning the toss. They found themselves in a really strong position and failed to push home the advantage and they will pay the price for it. I was amazed to see the news coming out of the dressing room after second days play. Pakistan were saying that they needed to be careful for the first hour of play. That is code for having a negative mind set and being defensive. If you can't be positive when you are 150 odd up, there is something seriously wrong with the psychology. If you score 28 runs in 17 overs when you are up by 100, you don't deserve to win. I remember Graham smith kept saying to Pakistan batsmen " not going anywhere" and it describes the attitude when Pakistan bats. Culture of fear created by misbah will stay with Pakistan for years to come.

Posted by bMike on (January 2, 2014, 14:55 GMT)

Kaushal's wicket was a big blow. The only way SL can get away from a defeat is playing some aggressive shots to set a big score. If Chandimal and Mathews can put 150+ partnership tomorrow SL might be able to set 225-250 target. That can be a good score to defend since it's not easy to bat in the 4th inning.Two wickets from here will be all over for Sri Lanka. So Pakistan have the upper hand of this match at the moment.

Posted by android_user on (January 2, 2014, 14:53 GMT)

yes they have outside chance to make it wish them good luck

Posted by Jury on (January 2, 2014, 14:48 GMT)

Pakistan has done really good against South Africa. They have won the ODI series and level both T20 and Test Series. But India lost All their ODI matches and almost all the Test matches. But Still INDIAN FANS talk about other team issues. What to say...

Posted by Fogu on (January 2, 2014, 14:40 GMT)

Good fightback by SL. It was inevitable. However, PK is still in the driver's seat unless SL batsmen do something extraordinary tomorrow. I think PK bowlers will assert themselves tomorrow and bowl out SL with a deficit of under 120 runs. Then it will upto PK batsmen not to implode as they are capable of but this bunch under Misbah with Younis is less likely to do so. Hoping for a good day of test cricket.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (January 2, 2014, 14:38 GMT)

Asad Shafiq must take position of Hafeez ... Azhar Ali must be there, they both have good understandings. Shan Masood must be there in place of Ahmad Shehzad.

Posted by yorkslanka on (January 2, 2014, 14:33 GMT)

shame that we lost those two wickets at the end otherwise we were starting to look towards building a significant lead and putting the pressure back onto Pakistan..Well bowled to them though. I am disappointed with Mahela though..he is abtter player than that..obviuosly rusty...Hopefully Chandimal will apply himself and build a decent innings to get us a decent lead. Nice to see that Silva got a deserved half century @ vikum72- different player, this is kushal silva and the other kushal perera- easy mistake tho, i made it to a while ago!i think we will have to battle hard to get the draw now and the balance favours Pakistan at present.

Posted by Lion83 on (January 2, 2014, 14:27 GMT)

Its time to Mahela to retire from test cricket and play only shorter formats. There are enough good young batsmen in Sri lanka to replace him.

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (January 2, 2014, 14:26 GMT)

@ JPNana : Couldn't agree with you more, they should use the IPL window for the purpose stated by you since SL players dont make it to the playing XI during the IPL anyway.. Instead of sitting there just to get unfit, that time can be utilised to schedule test matches.

Posted by zarasochozarasamjho on (January 2, 2014, 14:26 GMT)

What an interesting comment by avmd - loved it! How tall is Bilal Bhatti anyway?

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (January 2, 2014, 14:20 GMT)

pakistAn has best pacers junaid khAn , Muhammad Irfan ,umEr gul , a grEat talEnt muhammad aamir going to comE back soon ,a spin wizards afridi, ajmal and haffeeZ bilawal bhatti and two morE muhammad tallha and ahmEd jamal who can bowl at 145 kmph in domestic ,, batters arE getting in form look out indians and world pakistan will bE a very strong team to beat ..

Posted by chandimasl on (January 2, 2014, 14:16 GMT)

Kaushal's loss in the end, put the pakistanis on top. i thoroughly dissapointed the way mahela batted.being a senior player add a lot more responsibility to his shoulders.but he threw it away.he could have rested for the tests as well.

And the poorest decision is the selection of prasanna by resting thirimanna.he is suited for the tests.not for t20s.the selectors havent been unable to put the suitable players for the suitable formats.

thilina kandamby can add more solidity to our test team.and also thisara could have been entered or else find good left arm fast bowlers to the side.clearly akila dananjaya tharindu kaushal and malinda pushpakumara missing .the chances.SELECTORS PLEASE WAKE UP.your bad decisions will paid off for this match.if prasanna can not prove his worthiness tomorrow. both jayawardene s do not deserve a place to the next test.

Posted by Tamimfan on (January 2, 2014, 14:16 GMT)

Sorry SL fans, but have to point out some facts. Jayawardene is a flat-track bully. He averages 31 in AUS, 34 in ENG, 27 in NZ, 27 in SA, 13 in UAE. Even in Bangladesh, he averages just 38.

Coming to Sangakkara, he averages 30 in ENG, 35 in SA, 36 in IND, 34 in WI, 40 in Bangladesh. He has a great record in AUS & NZ in the 5+4 matches he has played there so far (average 60+ in both). Sanga is a good batsman and I wouldn't call him a flat-track bully, but he is not in the same league as SRT-BL-RT-JK-RD.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 2, 2014, 14:02 GMT)

Sri Lanka has to score at least 300+ more to give a hope of this match. It's not impossible, but as one comment made by someone in the commentary, "flood gates are open"! Sri Lanka deserves this sort of result for their careless batting. It was of course tough. At least they should have thought about making this one a draw. Now, drawing the match is the most unrealistic of all. Patience is the key. Learn from Misbah and Younis Khan. Still Sri Lanka can win, or even draw, I'm not saying we cannot. Of course we can. But, not this way.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2014, 13:54 GMT)

A lead of 150 to 200 for SL and PAKISTAN will struggle in their 2nd innings and at 250 SL will be favourites to win this match.Pakistan still lack batting depth.Time to say good bye to Asad shafiq,he is in a negative frame of mind and struggles to score,he is always defending to secure a place in the team. what happened to impressive shohaib maqsood, he looked to be a real find from one day series. Adnan Akmal is only for no 9 position. Glad to see Bhatti playing well.

Posted by android_user on (January 2, 2014, 13:50 GMT)

poor show by pakistans batting, instead of consolidating their position of strength, theyv allowed SL to fight their way into contention. asad shafiq should really be drinking in the last chance saloon. that said pakistans bowers are much more reliable, good nights rest and they should be in shape to complete the job tomorrow. ia

Posted by SaadRocx on (January 2, 2014, 13:46 GMT)

Pakistan was doing very well recently in making or going with specialized Test vs ODI batting lineups but suddenly dropping Azhar and Shan for Hafeez and Shahzad (just bcz of their ODI form) is gonna help nothing, i. Out of form dropped Test batsmen confidence will shatter further as in future they will be feeling more insecure ii. Failure of in-form ODI batsmen in Tests will rather effect their ODI form...

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 2, 2014, 13:43 GMT)

When will Sri Lanka realize that this is a five day game? They are playing it like an ODI!

Posted by deconstruct on (January 2, 2014, 13:32 GMT)

Couldn't agree with Shiraz more. People who can only tolerate a slam-bang T-20 game, seem to think that all cricket should be played that way. They will never appreciate Misbah who, both as captain and batsman, has contributed more to Pakistan cricket than anyone else with the exception of Imran Khan, or Hafiz Kardar. Had it not been for Misbah's resolute batting and determined leadership (e.g. his refusal to respond to half-baked media critics), plus a highly talented bowling attack, Pakistan would be have reeling at the bottom along with Zimbabwe, in world rankings.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2014, 13:28 GMT)

I should say its time for Mahela to retire from cricket and give the chance for youngsters. He didn't perform well for a long time.

Posted by Nuwas on (January 2, 2014, 13:17 GMT)

ok now the second innings of SL starts & they are 0 for 3 down,what a start from PAK. This is a great Test match, seems to have everything in this.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2014, 13:15 GMT)

the reason silva hadn't played for all these years was because prasanna jayaardene was in his way. he's showing the selectors just what they've been missing...

Posted by avmd on (January 2, 2014, 12:56 GMT)

Pakistan has the SHORTEST ( Bhatti ) and the TALLEST ( Irfan ) test fast bolwers currently and both are 140 plus and wicket taker, amazing. Would like to see a picture of both side by side.

Posted by Jadejafan on (January 2, 2014, 12:36 GMT)

Sri Lanka are an ordinary team. Bowling attack has become of minnow standard and still relying on the seniors to bail them out.

Posted by John_Geo on (January 2, 2014, 12:15 GMT)

Senanayake no wicket. Mahela no runs complemented by dropped catches. Why are these players included in the team? It brings the spirit of the entire team down.

Mahela, please do Sri Lanka a favour. Please announce your retirement. Make that decision before the selectors do it for you. It is clearly 'time-up' for you from all 3 formats of the game as you have been a liability to the team for quite some time now. Please give a chance to those youngsters and gracefully step-aside.

Posted by zzby on (January 2, 2014, 12:13 GMT)

Pakistan should give chance to some old pro guys with age more then 30 in batting , becuase the youngsters in pakistan are not mature at young age. Look at Misbah,Younis,Ajmal Zulfiqar Babar. They are star cricketers in Tests with age arounf 35 or more .

Posted by zarasochozarasamjho on (January 2, 2014, 12:09 GMT)

Asad Shafiq is a longer term prospect but has been a failure in recent matches. He must sit out a few games. Azhar Ali who should not have been left out should be brought back in. Hafeez is far too inferior to belong to test criicket. Pakistan's batting continues to disappoint apart from Misbah. Younis is not dependable anymore but is still far better than the rest. We have a match here on our hands, with a far superior SL batting side and their bowlers having now arrived in the 2nd innings.

Posted by Mervo on (January 2, 2014, 12:09 GMT)

Sanga is a class act but how rarely he plays outside of the sub-continent. His record is limed by his lack of exposure to English, Australian and South African conditions

Posted by MEHATELK on (January 2, 2014, 12:04 GMT)

most of sachin critics(EVEN SOME INDIAN FAN) say sachin not match winner, what is the definition of match winner? out of 51 test 100s only in 11 matches india ended up with lost, 20 win 20 drawn, lot of half centuries also favoured india win or draw, if you take only last 6 years indias away test victories except BANGladesh in more than 80% matches sachin scored either 100 or 50, see the cricinfo stas

Posted by android_user on (January 2, 2014, 12:01 GMT)

Asad is 2nd inning player who always scores big in 2nd inning which is sign of great players....

Posted by ahassan on (January 2, 2014, 11:44 GMT)

Another display of pathetic captaincy by Misbah. He was completely at loss as how to play with tail enders. He took a single on 2nd ball of the over when Saeed Ajmal was at the other end. Both Saeed Ajmal and Rahat Ali were cleaned up in the same over. He should have taken a leaf out of the book of Sri Lankan captain Angelo Matthews who added about 80 runs for last two wickets with intelligent batting. Misbah still does not know that Pakistan tail is the worst in world cricket at the moment.

Posted by Vikum72 on (January 2, 2014, 11:42 GMT)

Kusal showing remarkable maturity. Un-believable transformation from his swashbuckling ODI opening role!

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 2, 2014, 11:14 GMT)

Shaminda Eranga is a good bowler. He needs more experience.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2014, 11:03 GMT)

senanayake again no wicket, why play like players like senanayake, chandimal. Turn again to randiv & tarindu

Posted by sohailmalik1985 on (January 2, 2014, 10:58 GMT)

sensing a nail bitter end of the match if srilanka manage to get the lead 0f 200-225 then it would be very difficult for pakistan to got target in 4th ing. mehela, sanga and angelo will be the key in this task. opneres has did their job quite nicely. now time for these lagands to explode and keep pressure on pakistan

Posted by Resultpredictor on (January 2, 2014, 10:31 GMT)

Pakistan have to bowl really well to win this test match otherwise SL will force a draw by wonderful batting display. And if match goes to final day then SL may have chance to upset Pakistan.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2014, 10:10 GMT)

INSHALLAH pakistan will win and younas or junaid man of the match.

Posted by King_Ravanaa on (January 2, 2014, 9:53 GMT)

SLC administration is rather disappointing. they gave their priority to ODI's & T20's. from now onward hope they will arrange more Test matches against good opponents. Pressure will create great players, and some are in the making for SL. it's SLC's responsibility to groom them correctly by giving them regular Test matches

Posted by Guduji71 on (January 2, 2014, 9:39 GMT)

Asad Shaiq fails yet again. I think Pakistan needs to re think for no 6 position. Asad Shafiq has been disappointing for some time. I think Umar Akmal should be given chance for no 6 position. Keep Adnan Akmal as test keeper and play Umar Akmal at no 6 he can make quick runs and play with the tail. Or if not then use Azhar Ali at no 3 and Hafeez at no 6.

Posted by King_Ravanaa on (January 2, 2014, 9:22 GMT)

i just hope few Indians buzzing here and there keep buzzing for more. no joy is greater when the same things they saying turn against them. still quite a task ahead of SL batters, but it's not impossible.

Pakistan really poor in batting Misbah & Younis has scored 265 runs from their total runs others just scored 110+ runs. SL bowlers target should be to get Misbah and Younis early in coming matches.

Posted by ajithabey on (January 2, 2014, 8:57 GMT)

Good fight back by the Sri Lankan bowlers today. Hopefully the SL batsman will focus on batting more responsibly in the second essay as a lead of 179 is a tall order to pass and then consolidate for at least 5 to 6 sessions if they are to save this game.

Posted by Shiraz_Haniffa on (January 2, 2014, 8:55 GMT)

So, it is the ever reliable Misbah back again to the rescue of the frail Pakistanis. Not unsurprisingly, though, he is unfairly criticised by the pundits of Pakistan, who have limited or no knowledge of the finer points of the game. Misbah is criticised if Pakistan loses, but not acknowledged if they win. When he scores, he is accused of being too slow. When another batsman does not, Misbah is alleged not to have rotated the strike etc., etc.

Poor Misbah, though easily one of the contemporary world's top batsman, will continue to be the scapegoat.

Posted by doc.qadeer on (January 2, 2014, 8:54 GMT)

brillient bowling by lion ..showed character of a alion in this session .still pakistan is in there for a chance of defeating lankans by an inings..junaid and ajmal hold the key for pak..as sanga and methews for lankans...pak need sanga wicket as soon as possible..he can bat for 2 days.....

Posted by Yousafahmed11 on (January 2, 2014, 8:50 GMT)

But still Pakistan have a chance to win by inngs.

Posted by yorkslanka on (January 2, 2014, 8:42 GMT)

Good comeback from our "trundlers" as described by another indian fan! Personally I thought if we could keep Pakistan under 500, we would have done well. The wicket doesn't look easy now but I hope that our batsmen apply themselves this innings and get us a lead to bowl at..nice to see Eranga do well for us and interesting that he is bowling with reasonable pace.

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (January 2, 2014, 8:22 GMT)

I really hope pakistan make sure they come up with a plan to clean the SL tail because their top 5 are certain to fall like a pack of cards.

Posted by SL.FOOLS on (January 2, 2014, 8:21 GMT)

Innings Defeat on the cards for this mediocre SL Team. Go Greens.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2014, 8:17 GMT)

Early end to Pak innings. 56/6 in 1 session and last 5 men could add only 51. Asad played a lose shot early on. Adnan is no way near a batting keeper. a team like pakistan which has weak batting line up, can not afford to have a keeper who cant bat much. Need to find 1. No contributions from Ajmal & Rahat. Rahat was very lazy in that shot. well bowled by SL in this session.

Anyway, 179 is a healthy lead. And positive thing is that this pitch still has some thing in it for new ball and fast bowlers. So if Pak bowlers can take some early wickets, then SL will be under good pressure.

Still not over yet and SL has few guys who can dig deep.

for Pakistan, its only 2 older guys who scored. youngsters and others did not do much. Which is not good thing.

Well played by Misbah and Younas.

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