Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Abu Dhabi, 4th day

Mathews ton hands SL advantage

The Report by Devashish Fuloria

January 3, 2014

Comments: 113 | Text size: A | A

Sri Lanka 204 and 420 for 5 (Mathews 116*, Chandimal 89) lead Pakistan 383 by 241 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal set off for a run, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, 4th day, Abu Dhabi, January 3, 2014
Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews thwarted the new-ball challenge comfortably, adding 138 for the fifth wicket © AFP
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Angelo Mathews scored a career-best 116 to fashion a remarkable turnaround for Sri Lanka in the Abu Dhabi Test after they had conceded a 179-run lead to Pakistan in the first innings. He added 138 for the fifth wicket with Dinesh Chandimal, who missed out on his third Test century, and a further unbeaten 96 with Prasanna Jayawardene to transform a delicate situation on the fourth morning into, possibly, a match-winning one. Only thrice before have Pakistan been able to chase down a target in excess of 241, which is Sri Lanka's current lead.

The Pakistan bowlers managed a solitary wicket in the entire day and, for most parts, appeared innocuous with the pitch hardly providing assistance to the seamers or spinners. Saeed Ajmal's figures of 42-10-96-0 - the most overs he has bowled without picking up a wicket - highlighted the bowlers' misery.

Mathews, though, stayed compact throughout the day, and apart from a brief period against the new ball, was largely untroubled. Unlike his counterattacking 91 in the first innings, he kept the lid on his aggressive instincts, choosing the slow and steady approach. His half-century came off 113 deliveries. His next 50 took even longer as he slowed down as he neared his first Test century as captain, taking 24 balls to score his last four runs.

Mathews did pounce on loose deliveries, scoring a six and 11 fours, six of which came against Bilawal Bhatti. He was quick on the pull the moment the seamers pitched it short, but otherwise preferred playing in the V, with a few of his fours coming in the region between mid-on and midwicket. Along with Chandimal, he laid the foundation for Sri Lanka's revival.

Pakistan had assumed a dominant position on the third day after earning three wickets in the last session, and needed similar intensity today from Bhatti and Junaid Khan to restrict Sri Lanka's lead. They opened with the same pair in their search for quick wickets, but both bowlers lacked the zip that had brought them success the previous day.

That made Sri Lanka's job easier. Chandimal and Mathews collected 24 runs, without being troubled, in the 8.3 overs of Bhatti and Junaid's first spell. They defended solidly and mainly focused on turning the strike over, choosing only once each to stamp their authority with powerful pulls. The two bowlers had to eventually be pulled out of the attack by Misbah-ul-Haq to keep them ready for the second new ball. That gave Sri Lanka more breathing space.

They slightly upped the rate in the last 10 overs with the old ball to accumulate 39 runs as the three bowlers used in that block - Ajmal, Rahat Ali and Mohammad Hafeez - failed to create even a minor flutter. Chandimal reached his fifth Test half-century in the 79th over with a glance to the fine leg boundary, and Mathews smashed a six that illustrated the two batsmen's growing comfort.

Misbah asked for the new ball straightaway and pressed his two best bowlers - Junaid and Bhatti - into service. However, it didn't have the desired effect as Sri Lanka switched to a measured approach once more.

Chandimal stayed fluent, easily picking up singles and maintaining a strike rate of over 50 throughout his innings. In the first over after lunch, he used his feet to drive Ajmal to the cover boundary to register the partnership's century stand. In the next over though, bowled by Bhatti, Chandimal, on 71, was reprieved by Ahmed Shehzad at second slip after the fielder misread a thick edge which moved to the wrong direction. The relief on Shehzad's face was palpable when, 10 overs later, Chandimal was sucked in to a hook by Junaid to be caught at deep fine leg. He could only add 18 after being dropped and missed his third Test century by 11 runs, becoming Junaid's 50th Test victim in the process.

Pakistan had an opening after 47.3 overs of toil, but Mathews kept his focus and ensured Sri Lanka kept turning the wheel of fortune decisively towards them. Prasanna Jayawardene proved to be the ideal foil, handling Ajmal's variations with aplomb and keeping the seamers at bay with ease. By the end of the day, the two had batted for 39 overs, and are likely to push the match away from Pakistan's reach on the last day.

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (January 4, 2014, 7:32 GMT)

The more Pakistanis remain on field more tired they will get. Declare one hour before the lunch and take 2 wickets. We have whole one session to remove mishbah and Yonus and one more after tea-break to get the rest.

Posted by Sirio on (January 4, 2014, 7:11 GMT)

Misbah has only himself to blame for including RAHAT ALI in the side. He has proved to be useless here. There is no venom there. Equally bad was not picking up Shan Masood, Rehman and letting go of fast bowler Ali. Also the whole team should be disciplined. Who asked them to get out so cheaply when they were going pretty good in their first innings. 75 more runs and the situation would have been different. Now SL will declare soon (may be past 300) and Pakistan has to Work hard to go for a Draw. Bad choice captain.

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (January 4, 2014, 6:09 GMT)

@ priceless1 : Bro, I am sure you can make out by my comments, why I am following this forum. The intention is very much clear and very much in line with my earlier comment to GRVJPR. About Albert_cambell, I'll leave you with the below link that will take you to more of his comments and I hope what I said will make more sense to you. http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/story/706433.html?comments=all#usrcomment

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (January 4, 2014, 5:57 GMT)

@ priceless1 : On that note I will give you the below link to follow more of his comments: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/story/706433.html?comments=all#usrcomment

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (January 4, 2014, 5:39 GMT)

@ Nuwas : And that my dear friend is how exactly how I have been feeling for the past 6 months (since CT2013), welcome on board!

Posted by priceless1 on (January 4, 2014, 5:37 GMT)

@VKohlitheGreat going by your logic then one has to assume your either Pak fan or SL fan coz u too seem to be following the series very closely :D

Posted by SriLankanYoungBlood on (January 4, 2014, 5:35 GMT)

Super Performance from Mathews.Great. And Good Performance from Chandi and Kaushal. But bad luck both could easily go to their Centuries. This batting prevent SL lost and may go to impossible win. Also this batting hurt not only Paks but 2 Declining Seniors Legend. Say "Now SL Cricket ours You Better Retired and Allow more youngsters to Play"

Posted by Nuwas on (January 4, 2014, 5:31 GMT)

yeah,clearly SL batsmen are playing for their averages while in the team was in danger of getting limitted for quite a low score,they just played for their glory, didnt concentrated on getting the team out of the pit, just like that someonethegreat. I'm so disappointed the way they batted so far during the day 3&4 . On day 3 PAK lost their 6 wickets for less than 60 runs on this completely flat track in the morning session which is usually the session that has nothing for bowlers (specially not for our mediocre bowlers), but we lost only 4 wickets in two sessions on day 3 on that flat track for 100 odd runs when we had only a deficit of 170+ in the first innings. totally not cool guys, you should've taken it upto PAK & try to hammer them all over the park like a T20 or ODI , if not get bowled out for less than 174. I just don't get how you guys scored 200+ more runs with only a loss of 1 wicket on day 4 while the ball was swinging in the morning & kept low in eve. awful performance.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 4, 2014, 5:26 GMT)

@Nuwas: That's the best news I heard for a long time... So happy to hear that, and thank you! Awesome!

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (January 4, 2014, 5:16 GMT)

@ GRVJPR : Dont mind Albert_cambell, he is a SL fan and it should not be hard for you to figure out why he is doing such a thing. @ Albert_cambell : If what I have said above is not true, allow me to compliment you since you have done well to follow a SL-Pak match and chose to reply to a comment of an Indian fan almost instantly..

Posted by Nuwas on (January 4, 2014, 5:06 GMT)

Eranga & Lakmal are getting better & will groom with the exposure & experience of few more matches. Clearly Vass is trying his best to stack up a pool of world-class bowlers like himself for SL. If you guys didn't know,our bowling coach staff is selecting youngsters at this very moment from all around SL with a huge selection campaigns which ongoing for the last 6 months or so with minimum publicity( not a fact known to many). In the next two years there will be a huge boost in our bowling department for sure & don't be surprised to see so many unorthodox bowlers keep coming from SL in the future too.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 4, 2014, 5:05 GMT)

I have huge respect for Pakistan bowling. I think they are great, and they are among the top bowling attacks. Though they are playing against my own country, it's scary, but very admiring to see someone like Junaid firing, and Batti getting bounce, bowling at 145, because I love to see aggressive bowling. Ajmal is a great bowler, though he is without wickets. One match doesn't say anything. It's game on! If Pakistan take Mathews or Prasanna early, it'll be tough to give a score of 280+. So, it's hard to predict. I think it's 1/3-1/3-1/3 chance for [SL-win]-[Pak-win]-[draw]. Still game on! With the new ball at hand, with a night break for Junaid, anything can happen. So, please play carefully. 3 runs per over is enough, and don't let this game go into that tense situation Sri Lanka!

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (January 4, 2014, 4:46 GMT)

@ Wasim_Wasamadroota : Normally I would disagree with such a comment because thats how test cricket is but looking at this match and how it is poised currently, I cannot deny that the batsmen are playing for their averages since they know this match is headed for a draw as the track has become very flat and batting has become very easy as compared to the first two days.

Posted by Albert_cambell on (January 4, 2014, 4:43 GMT)

@GRVJPR. We recently exposed your street level bowlers and batters in SA. You guys were lucky that Morkel got injured in the 1st test. Otherwise you would have lost the 1st test as well.

Posted by ms2000 on (January 4, 2014, 4:42 GMT)

Pakistan over rated themselves too much and thought they had the best bowling attack. Now their bowlers are clearly exposed and looked a pretty good club team. Sri Lanka is clearly on the way up with talented youngsters. I always thought Chamdimal was a good test player but never was a good one day or T 20 player. He proved me right. Sri Lanka only needs to polish their bowlers and this team can be a threat to any test team in the world in the months to follow. Once Misbah and Younis retire Pakistan will have manyproblems with their batting. No mater what the end results wil be ,Well done Sri Lanka. You have proved you are Lions!

Posted by Nuwas on (January 4, 2014, 4:38 GMT)

@ Blade-Runnar : So playing recklessly in the last session of the day just to add up runs to the score while still in the danger of getting bowled out for less than 200 runs & then to offer you guys the win with open arms? will it be a good approach from us for you guys? need anythingelse ?

Posted by GRVJPR on (January 4, 2014, 4:18 GMT)

Too much noise from pakistanis about their bowling. They have been brutally exposed. A street level batting and bowling team is pakistan and nothing else.

Posted by Messa1 on (January 4, 2014, 4:13 GMT)

@ Wasim_Wasamadroota If u don't know how to follow test cricket or how to enjoy it, then STOP watching it

Posted by Yousafahmed11 on (January 4, 2014, 4:09 GMT)

SL prefer draw. Thats clear from their approach. They will play one more session to add 100 odd runs and then they new it is not possible to get a result in 60 overs. 350 + runs in 60 overs is possible in ODIs but not in Test.

Posted by Nuwas on (January 4, 2014, 3:50 GMT)

@Wasim_Wasamadroota : grow up mate, what do you know about test cricket? ODI play during one day only & Test are played for FIVE DAYS, defense is a huge part of the game. yeah if we'were to play like PAK did (reckless cricket) in the last session of their 1st inninings we would've ended up loosing our last 6 wickets also in less than 60 runs. please mate...

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 4, 2014, 3:34 GMT)

I think Pakistan will send big hitters in the front and try to chase it down, no matter the score line. I think they will send Misbah and Younis in the 5th and 6th position to make sure they don't lose. Wickets! Sri Lanka should try to hit 30,40 runs quickly within 10 overs and give them something like 280 to chase. That's my belief.

Posted by Attractivue on (January 4, 2014, 2:05 GMT)

Sad sad for Pakistan. Pakistan is staring down the barrel of a huge defeat!!

Posted by Wasim_Wasamadroota on (January 4, 2014, 1:41 GMT)

65 runs in last session off 23 overs, 0/25 in last ten overs, great attacking cricket SL, that's how to set up a chance for victory. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Grow some balls, stop being scared of defeat and stop batting for your averages. Good fight back but at some stage the mentality has to change to attack.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2014, 1:24 GMT)

We have lot of t20 matches per year, Normally IPL waste 6 weeks, few players on the field & bunch of players watching the matches. I don't know why they looking for T20. I think we need to give more time to test matches. It will be effect MONEY PLAYERS like Lasith Malinga. But this is our country cricket team. Not private company belongs to players or match officials.

Posted by ClaudiaSL on (January 4, 2014, 0:31 GMT)

Draw with twists and turn!

Posted by Messa1 on (January 3, 2014, 23:44 GMT)

This is why we are called lions, we never give up easily. Well played Mathews, Chandimal, Silva, Prassanna J and Sanga. Well played for Pakistan as well, did their best

Posted by ClaudiaSL on (January 3, 2014, 23:16 GMT)

It will be an interesting Draw with a twist at some stage! Saeed Ajmal should be given a rest for a match or two. Asad Shafeeq will have a role to play in achieving a draw. Last chance for Hafeez to save his place in the test team.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 22:31 GMT)

Intelligence is a factor missing among SL, for this I blame the coaching staff. They must learn to play for results and not draws. I would have gone for quick 50 runs using the last five wickets hoping to set a good target to PAK. What's the point going into day 5 with five wickets in hand? You need atleast 90 overs to ball out PAK in UAE.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 22:29 GMT)

SL are now bossing the game and I suspect they will bat for an hour or so tomorrow setting Pakistan impossible target to win. I can now only see a win for SL or a draw. Three main reasons why Pakistan are in this position: 1. When SL were 124 for 8, the ineffectiveness of the bowlers to clean up the tail quickly, giving 80 runs for last two wickets was too many. 2. Loosing 6 wickets for 55 runs after Younis and Misbah had put Pakistan in strong position. 3. Exclusion of Azhar and Rehman from the XI. Hafeez is not a test player and Rehman could have been effective in SL's second innings. Rahat so far has not taken single wicket in the match. I am glad Sarfraz Ahmed will be playing next two test matches as I think he is a better wicket keeper / batsman than Akmal. You cannot assess Sarfraz on his tour to SA, there everyone failed. I would also add Umar Akmal to the squad and if Shafiq does not perform in 2nd innings Umar Akmal should replace him.

Posted by Pakstani_Lion07 on (January 3, 2014, 22:22 GMT)

Until Day-3 Pakistan overcame the SriLankans with the bat and bowl but now it looks like SriLanka are in a very strong position and SriLanka probably would be looking for 300+ lead as quickly as they can and bowl Pakistan out but there are strong chances that this match could end up as a draw but this is cricket anything ! But I hope the best for Pakistan and wish that they win it :D

Posted by Ashique129 on (January 3, 2014, 22:06 GMT)

On a different note: Devashish Fuloria - are you a new reporter? This article had a refreshingly novel flavor - you have focused on the strategies implemented by both the teams at various parts of the day's play. Someone who sees the scorecard now would have an idea of how the day went on an hourly basis. Looking forward to your next one.

Posted by Yasiya on (January 3, 2014, 21:50 GMT)

Both teams have chances. But if SL can add another 50,60 runs quickly then the pressure will be on PAK. It's not easy to chase something around 300 runs in the last day. If SL needs a win here, bowlers will have to do their best.

Posted by PIA786 on (January 3, 2014, 21:16 GMT)

Why was Umer Gul not picked? He has the ability to take wickets on flat wickets. Is he injured?

Posted by kickassPakistan on (January 3, 2014, 20:54 GMT)

Tough cricket by Sri lankan boys. Brilliant, tomorrow should be an absorbing day.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 20:47 GMT)

Rare fight back by SriLanka. After loosing first inings very few occations they done like this in SL history. Now this game going look like draw result. But stil SriLanka having a chance. If they can set a target +270 and give to pakistan to bat one hour before lunch it will be intresting. Might be tomoro Herath's day. They can expect something from debutant Senanayake. Probebbly it will be a battel between MIsbha and SL bowlers

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 20:39 GMT)

Heroic,genuine test match batting. Rameez Raja...sorry but Pakistan do not have the best attack in cricket as you said on tv...South Africa and Australia do

Congrats Matthews and Chandimal who i rate very highly...very gratifying and lately it has been awesome to see some genuine test class batsmanship. Pakistan need to take the last 5 wickets for less than 50 runs to stand a chance.

Posted by rezauk on (January 3, 2014, 20:27 GMT)

Well firstly congrats to SL for a superb batting display. Pakistan bowled reasonably well but the mental approach by SL was awesome. Hopefully we can learn a lot from their performance. As already pointed out SL messed up the 1st innings and Pakistan got themselves into a strong position with 6 wickets left - The turning point - lack of authority , nerve , technique. SL deserve to be where they are in this match everybody 2nd inns has applied themselves. I agree the pitch seems to be playing ok - however I very much doubt if Pakistan believe they can win from here and if they decide to go into their shell they may lose 4 for 20 in the middle part of the day. Misbah has a good record as Captain due to a first class bowling attack however I can remember at least 3 test matches where Pakistan were in similar position (lead of 150 + 5 wickets left) where he didn't go all out to extend the lead and we all know what happened after that !!

Posted by sarangsrk on (January 3, 2014, 19:53 GMT)

Pakistan's bowling has been humbled by 2 batsmen with lot of resolve. Just goes to show you could be good on paper but unless you have the desire to win, you will be humbled someday. I am happy that its not just Indian bowling which looks ineffective on a flat wicket like it did in Johannesburg. I will not be surprised if SL declares with 300 lead and win this match tommorrow with less than 70 overs to bowl.

Posted by Fineline on (January 3, 2014, 19:21 GMT)

What a test match this turning out to be.Initially,Pakistan were in the dominating position having bowled out Sri Lanka for just 204 and with a lead of 178.Pakistan's last 6 wickets fell in rapid succession as the Sri lankan bowlers were at their best.Still Pakistan were considered to be in the dominating position but actually Sri Lanka outfoxed Pakistan as they had different plans.Both can still fancy their chances of win but it seems to be difficult in this brevity.Hopefully,we will get the result.

Posted by stumpedlloyd on (January 3, 2014, 19:18 GMT)

@Herath-UK: I hope SL can pull off a win. It would do them wonders. It bothers me that Sri Lanka doesn't play enough tests. Forgoing a test series in the West Indies and then doing away a home test series with South Africa was simply idiotic by SLC. I wish SLC also would see the benefit of preparing good wickets in Sri Lanka, wickets that aid fast bowlers so that they can help breed some quality pacemen there. As far as I am concerned, they should not play any tests at the SSC until that wicket is made more test friendly. What is the point of having a wicket where one side scores 600 and the other 500 for a total of about 12-18 wickets almost every single test there? Padding batting averages is simply dumb. Look at the wickets that have been prepared for the Ashes in Australia - there is something in them for everyone. I wish they'd do that in Sri Lanka and that SLC would stay away from mucking about with the groundskeepers asking them to build certain wickets.

Posted by Fogu on (January 3, 2014, 18:26 GMT)

Good fightback by SL. They showed their spirit of Lion. I had thought PK would bowl out SL with a deficit of under 120 but SL roared back. Will be a good 5th day. Looking for the same fighting spirit from PK. A draw would be a good result for both teams but PK would be more disappointed for not being able to press their advantage.

Posted by Haz95 on (January 3, 2014, 18:01 GMT)

Well Done Sri Lanka. As a Pak fan I am pretty disappointed especially knowing pak were at a point 334/4 or so. I don't understand the hate Chandimal gets, he needs time to adjust and his FC stats and Test Stats confirm he can be Sangas predecessor. Anyway, Look I understand Asad scored a 100 vs SA or the fact that Hafeez scored 3 100s, but it doesn't deny that neither of them are INTL Test standards. Hafeez must stick to LOi and play BBL for t20 wc exp and Asad should be dropped. Until Pak recall Fawad Alam and add Haris Sohail, Umar Akmal, Sohaib Maqsood as all specialist batsmen, there will be a lot of struggles. Fawad avgs 55, more than younis and misbah who are the best in PAK currently. Haris and Sohaib are technically sound so that hype of Asad can't be justified. These lot will replace Younus, Misbah, my Future XI 1.S Masood/N Jamshed. 2.K Manzoor/A Shehzad 3.F Alam, 4.S Maqsood(C). 5.U Akmal. 6.H Sohail .7.An Ali/B Bhatti/ H Azam.6.M Rizwan(WK) and then the tail

Posted by Herath-UK on (January 3, 2014, 17:53 GMT)

@ stumpedlloyd,I do not think there are complete good test sides at present;Eng is dithering,Aus is not the fine article that was & Ind has the same bowling issues. Pak against all the hype managed just a wicket during the whole day & Ajmal wicketless at that. So where is the good bowling unit whereas SL pacies with their commitment though not with such pace got about six wickets in one session. If the batters give a good score to bowl at I'm sure our bowlers can hit the straps well & I do trust my name sake Rangana against whom Pak is vulnerable.SL can win the Test if our bowlers bowl again with commitment & passion.

Posted by TheKeeper on (January 3, 2014, 17:48 GMT)

Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal must have huge balls of brass! Awesome fight put up by Sri Lanka today - the action was sooo exciting that I didn't want to miss a single ball. Well played Sri Lanka; especially Mathews, Chandimal, Kaushal and Prasanna - you really showed your steel.

Pakistan bowled well, except maybe for Rahat Ali who's direction does not engage the batsman enough - without the ball reversing into the batsmans pads that line of attack is useless. It is easy to say that Pakistan was tactically poor, but in reality Mathews, Chandimal and Prasanna batted really, really well.

Excellent game so far!

Posted by flowersintherain on (January 3, 2014, 17:19 GMT)

The future for Sri Lanka's batting looks promising. Matthews has come into his own with two fine innings. Kaushal Silva finally lived up to his fine first class record with a mature, composed innings. Chandimal did very well once again. And for those who have been critical of him in the past, they should look at his test average of 58! We will know how good they really are when they play England on English wickets next year. Now they need to find some penetrative pace bowling. Where is the next Vaas?

Posted by stumpedlloyd on (January 3, 2014, 16:58 GMT)

@Herath-UK: I admire your attitude about Sri Lanka and, while they might have some promising young batsmen who can deliver the goods, their bowling unit is awfully weak. And you need to be able to take 20 wickets to win a test. And you can't really do that with military-medium trundlers. They have no spinner who can really rip through a side - sorry, neither Herath nor Senanayake, although talented, are of that caliber. With some cloud cover in the UK, their medium pacers might be able to get some movement, but these bowlers are not frightening any batsmen. I could be wrong, but I cannot see Sri Lanka bowling out Pakistan in four sessions to win this test. Unless, Pakistani batsmen simply throw caution to the wind and give away their wickets, which is entirely possible. Sri Lanka is not a good complete test side; it hasn't been one for years, and they play so few tests - blame the SLC administrators and the players who only want to play 20/20 for that - that they can't get any better.

Posted by KarachiKid on (January 3, 2014, 16:58 GMT)

If Pakistan lose this match, which is very much a possibility, I would say we lost it during first session of third day. The Pakistani batsmen squandring advantage losing last six wicket within 50 runs. Down right pathetic. The Pakistani batsmen's mindset epitomized by Asad Shafique's 56 ball 13. The most outrageous act of worthless defensive snail paced useless batting.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 16:56 GMT)

srilankans are not taking risks to win and for what they r playing. in my opinion they should leave out old senior players and build young players and mathew is not encourgeing captain.

Posted by Wacky_Cric_Lover on (January 3, 2014, 16:45 GMT)

Here is what has happened in this test so far. Sri Lanka messed on Day 1 and Day 2. Pakistan messed up on Day 3 and Day 4. Its going to be tight but lets see who messes up on Day 5. This test has two results, win for SL or a draw.

Posted by amilag on (January 3, 2014, 16:39 GMT)

This is even better than what aussies did in Ashes fourth test! SL is becoming a very good test cricket team with the inclusion of wonderful new talents such as Kaushal Silva, Dimuth, Chandimal, Mathews,Eranga etc and they can become better and better as the time moves on. Add to that 2 great veterans,legends Sanga and Mahela and No.01 spinner in the world Herath, oh god they can beat even Aus,SA in any day.

Well done Sanath..Well done SL!

Posted by shahnbej on (January 3, 2014, 16:28 GMT)

Well played SL. Lack of one quality bowler hurting Pakistan team. Rahat is just Fuller in team, he has no contributions in any department of game, his fielding is below the club standard and still in playing eleven. Pakistan has long list of genuine fast bowlers which could be more effective on slow surface, but Misbah preferred him.

Posted by zarasochozarasamjho on (January 3, 2014, 16:10 GMT)

The current and future of SL batting looks rosy. It is the other way round for the Pakistanis, with Misbah the only real batsman in the team. Younis has been poor in recent times overall, so do not know how long he can stretch his current good form. Pakistan bowling disappointed - for a change. It beggars belief that only 1 wicket fell the whole day and that too of a batsman in his nineties. This match ALREADY is for Pakistan to SAVE - a complete reversal to the previous day end.

Posted by yorkslanka on (January 3, 2014, 16:08 GMT)

Congrats to Mathews on a well deserved ton and a great captains innings. Personally I think we should bat for an hour tomorrow and push on to try and get a 320 lead. This will probably lead to a draw but you never know. Pressure in test cricket is a funny thing.. Can't seem to hear those haters of Sri Lanka making comments about us being held up by seniors ??

Posted by shan_abc on (January 3, 2014, 15:53 GMT)

As I mentioned before (in a comment that cricinfo did not publish), SL batting has delivered. They have a good batting side. There may be set backs on certain days. But they can deliver on most days. However, unless luck lends a hand, they will have trouble getting 10 wickets on any day. If Murali was still playing, a declaration is on right now. With the current limited attack, SL should definitely bat out the first session and get the lead to 300-350 before any declaration. A poor bowling unit must be backed by a large pool of runs to render it effective. If they declare now, Pakistan will win this for sure, under the current conditions.

Posted by Herath-UK on (January 3, 2014, 15:48 GMT)

Sri Lanka have done wonders to turn the match on its head showing what a good Test side it is becoming to & answering some misguided who queried its place in the international arena.While the Pak was propped up by the old two hands ,the young ones fought for SL showing its future is well secured.It can only win or draw tomorrow which itself is a moral win.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 15:47 GMT)

really impressed by methews. first innings 91 under different circumstances and now 100+ understand different conditions. he showed how mature he is

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 3, 2014, 15:46 GMT)

Well done and brilliant batting by Mathews, Chandimal and Kaushal. They simply showed that we can easily survive when Sanga and Mahela quit. Taking nothing away from the bowling attack of Pakistan as no doubt Junaid and Bilawal tried very hard but Lankans dug hard too. I am sure Pakistan are still the better side though Sri Lanka will most likely avoid defeat here. Hopefully we see an exciting chase tomorrow and great if Shezhad scores and impresses as Pakistan must not over rely on Misbah and Younis. Hope my favorite Sri Lankan bowler Senanayake will be our best bowler in Pakistan's 2nd innings.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 15:42 GMT)

Awesome play by Srilankans. This is how captain should be. I was skeptic about Chandimal but he proved me wrong and I am glad about that. Mathew is a great player and needs to continue this form and keep improving. As a Pakistani fan I am hoping we can draw this but you never know Pakistan batting line up. I do not see Pakistan winning from here so there best bet would be draw. I think in the end it will be a win for Srilanka even if they drew this match and it will be a loss for Pakistan. Pakistan failed to capitalize on their advantage in the first inning and was outplayed by Srilankan batsmen mathew and chandimal. Pakistan surely missing Irfan who would provide crucial wickets. GOod luck to both teams :)

Posted by Nuwas on (January 3, 2014, 15:31 GMT)

well played SL. PAK will get a target of 350 to win/draw tomorrow. its really on PAKs hand this games outcome. If they could play well they will make it a draw,but if they would play to their reputation (panic attack) SL will win this match which would be a serious upset for a specific set of people.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 14:51 GMT)

@MZM: Hafeez has had a poor lst yr and immediately dropped afterwards, even the experts were comfortless when asked about his selection. Such things happened in recent past when managment kept dropping Akmal, Malik, Arafat and Co and they got selected again for some performances here and there. Most of the fans here do agree tht Haffezs best suited to T20 only, we carry him in ODIs as a bowling allrounder but in Tests hes going no where with his technique, bowling and style of play. Apart from that Azhar have scored some good runs in domestic, 2 centuries i guess and ready to take that no3 spot. Hope this clarifies ur concern!

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 14:50 GMT)

Well played Sri Lanka. They showed guts and character and also sent a message that they can be a top side. The new Sri Lankan players are making things happen.

Posted by mainul079080 on (January 3, 2014, 14:43 GMT)

Asad Shafiq and Adnan Akmal - these are the 2 great weak points in Pakistan.They will not even fit into Bangladesh line up.Bangladesh have got Nasir Hossain and Mushfiqur Rahim in their position i.e No 6 and 7 and their test average is over 45 and 32 respectively and Mushfiq got a double hundred against Srilanka in Srilanka last year.Asad only scores in a loosing game. His last 2 test hundreds were of no value. Adnan is just a club level player.Pakistan should replace them with Fawad Alam and Sarfraz/Rizwan forever. I am not sure about Hafeez . But in my openion Sami Aslam is a better option.Pakistan should experiment with their fragile batting line up. But they are doing it with their bowling line up which is top class!

Posted by CricketChat on (January 3, 2014, 14:43 GMT)

If SL really wants to win this match, they must declare at the overnight score and go on all out attack against Pak top order. They already look a batsman short with Adnan unfortunately injured. It may back fire on them with about a barely par score for a 5th day chase, but I feel that is the best chance. If they go till say 1/2 before lunch to play safe, this match will end certain draw. Curious to see if SL wants to push for a win.

Posted by Lion83 on (January 3, 2014, 14:41 GMT)

Sri Lanka continue to fight hard in this test match and they have the upper hand in the match now. One hour of bat tommorw and set a target of 300 in 75 overs in pakistan. It will not be easy for pakistan to survive on a fifth day pitch

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 14:38 GMT)

Well done Chandimal and Mathews this is the way to play positive test cricket...pitch is still good for fast bowlers but SL players well handle the pressure of Pakistan attack...after losings the toss this is a great come back i think our batting and bowling coaches have done their job very precisely and i hope them be there positions at lest 2015 world cup...my advice is declare after reaching 320-350 lead then we will have a good chance to win this match...all the best for both team for exiting test match tomorrow

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 3, 2014, 14:33 GMT)

Despite Younis Khan being a threat to my own country's victory, I really enjoyed him doing wicket keeping. He is a great cricketer. Always smiling! So nice to see! I wish he becomes Pakistan's permanent wicket keeper. He is awesome! Don't know why he doesn't play in ODI. He is far more aggressive than Misbah even. But Misbah is also great. Love to see Pakistan playing. When these two countries play, we never know! Miracles happen!

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 14:29 GMT)

First of all thank you matthew and chandimal for saving thid test match. I dont think Pakistan would lose this match wicket is still good if you get used to it so let us put up 300 lead and declared ask them to take a risk getting it within 60 overs

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 3, 2014, 14:26 GMT)

Pitch is not supporting spinners, but it has variable bounce, in other words, daemons on the pitch. If Lakmal and Shaminda can exploit that, Sri Lanka can win. It's a gamble. Until the last ball bowled, we never know with Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Pakistan is a great side. They were playing really well. I was so nervous. I don't know, people have different ways of playing cricket; natural styles. But, I'm glad we are safe side. I don't think Pakistan will take the risk. It's a trick to let them take the risk!

Posted by Sandasiri_Asitha on (January 3, 2014, 14:19 GMT)

Bad low bounce on the pitch ll create more pressure on Pakistani's batsmen on last day. Well played SL specially, Captain. Hope we ll have a good result in this match..

Posted by first_slip on (January 3, 2014, 14:18 GMT)

@Rushan Mohamed, mate what do you have to say about Misbahs 2 LBW decisions?

Posted by NAD_SriLankanBoy on (January 3, 2014, 14:02 GMT)

SL definetely is going to bat aggressively tomorrow..And I think 12 Overs is the right amount of overs to bat on the last day (just when the second new ball will be available)..another 60 runs in 12 overs is substancial enough for us to win..Hope is on Eranga and Herath to pick up wickets and also lakmal because he looked good in the first innings. Early wickets will be the Key (for both teams).

Well done Chandimal and Mathews and Good Luck to Sri Lanka!! Hell of a fight already anyway..

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (January 3, 2014, 14:01 GMT)

@ Solid_Snake : I think you are going really hard on your team, definitely pak tail made a few mistakes but as Day 3 wore on, the pitch got very easy to bat on, which favoured SL batsmen bat out 2 days only to end this match in a draw tomorrow.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 13:59 GMT)

great job Mathews u are such a great man ...u are very suitable for TEST than ODI ...great job and u keep us from defeat.....chandimal u also great but u had to endure to archive 100

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 13:58 GMT)

Only Pakistan's tail is still flimsy the way all teams tail was back in the 90's. Every other team has improved in the tail section, except Pakistan. Ajmal to go this long without a wicket? Wow! The pitch must be dead, but on the other hand, watch Pak batsmen make a meal out of it. Very disappointing day. Well done, Lankans. Massive turnaround from the ODI series. Draw on the cards or Pak will lose. Can't see them winning from here and chasing that total in one day.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 13:55 GMT)

Misbah is the worst captain ever. When is the PCB is going to realise that. For earlier losses they misbah use to say is that there is no talent , what is the excuse now as team has shown there is plenty of talent . Its just they have not been utlised properly by this captain. Bringing his negative attitude is everything and keeping the players in sense of fear and insecurity. He just dont know how to attack and capitalise on good performances by his players. sometimes you need to take risks but this guy just play for draw or saving the match. His batting is reflection of that taking 300 balls to make a 100 or so. Any captain would realise that with 5 wickets down and with a vulerable tale , I need to attack and score quickly as many runs as possible to capitalise on our good performance with the ball and bat but no misbah opted to block out and only added 30 runs. pathetic all i can say. he is the destroyer of natural talent of our young players.

Posted by sarangsrk on (January 3, 2014, 13:53 GMT)

One wicket in a whole day?? What happened to the "best" bowling attack in the world and on a 4th day track, World's "best" spinner and the "magician" could not get one batsman out? People blamed and ridiculed Indian bowling attack when they could not get SA out on the last day on Wanderer's flat track. Chandimal and Mathews are not AB Devilliers and Faf Du Plessis by any means. Forget about getting out, they didn't even give half chances or lucky escapes to Pakistan. Its really shameful for the nation which boasts about its bowling attack all the time. I would predict SL winning this tommorrow even if they give 60-70 overs to Pakistan to survive.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 13:53 GMT)

there should be a review system to check third umpire decision. prasenna should have given out. Extremly hard decision.

Posted by billbowden311 on (January 3, 2014, 13:51 GMT)

I don't know why Rahat ali is even in the team? His bowling is appauling, he isn't even swinging the ball at all. I definately think the problem in this team selection is hafeez and Rahat, I'm not really sure who to switch hafeez with as Azhar ali is equally as poor, but Rahat can definately be switched with mohammed Talha. I want to see Talha in the next match. I really hope Junaid gets 10 wickets, but I'm not writing off Pakistan just yet. You never know, Pakistan is a team filled with surprises.

Posted by bMike on (January 3, 2014, 13:50 GMT)

What a great knock by Mathews. Now SL have the upper hand. If they can add another 60 runs in the first hour tomorrow they have a great chance of winning this match. But it's obvious that the pitch doesn't support spinners. So Pakistan have a good chance of chasing down 300 in 75+ overs. Test cricket at its best..

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 13:45 GMT)

well playedby SL. after 3 days , the are now ahead with this game.

Not sure what they are doing? a bit negativity i think.

if they think 250 is enough for Pak then they should have declared and had more overs to bowl pak out.

and if they think score is not enough to take Pak win out of equation then they should have accelerated and score more today and have full day tomorrow.

at the moment its 90 overs remainig and less than 2.7 rpo. so they have to bat some time tomorrow to take Pak win out of the way.

the wicket is still ok to bat on . no big issues in pitch so pak still has good chance to draw it. win is a bit out of the way because of run rate. but SL should have done more effort to have more time with ball. pak bowled ok but no luck. they had their chance in 1 st innings to fully control it but didnt managed big lead. now top 3 needs to bat well.

to me at the moment going for draw if SL play about15 hours tomorrow.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 3, 2014, 13:41 GMT)

Well done Angelo, Chandi, Prasanna... We are proud of you! Very interesting to hear the stump mic conversations! Shows that Mathews is pressureless, and enjoying every bit of the game!

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 13:35 GMT)

A Certain draw! Only team can win if they are mentally strong..

Posted by mzm149 on (January 3, 2014, 13:31 GMT)

@Asad Memon: Why is only Hafeez feeling the heat? Why not Khurram Manzoor and Ahmed Shehzad?

Posted by DreamCricketer on (January 3, 2014, 13:26 GMT)

Dreamcricketer: Well done Angelo Mathews. You deserve it and I hope the other failures in our team learn from you and pull up their socks or SLC opens their eyes and fire them from the team. Keep it up Angelo. Unfortunately you are not getting the support from some team members.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (January 3, 2014, 13:09 GMT)

Only Pak batsmen are to be blamed for this big blunder..If we had a lead of 250 or 300..It would have shattered the confidence of SL team.Taking their wickets would have been easy in that case.But no..Pak had to throw away their wickets.Pak had an upper hand after first inngs.But thanks to our Tail,we lost everything

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (January 3, 2014, 13:04 GMT)

I am really surprised at how dead this track has been since day 3, no wonder SL batsmen collecting accolades now after their team crumbled like a pack of cards when the pitch had something in it for the first two days.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 13:02 GMT)

Brilliant batting by Matthews and Chandimal. Hafeezs definitely feelin the heat, he has to prove he belongs to this arena. Will be an intresting chase. Srilanka in more commanding position for sure.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 12:44 GMT)

Now the match has been entered in an intrusting Mode... I think Pak should be Mentally ready for 300+ target... i hope It will be an Intresting 5th Day...

Posted by Cricketlover54 on (January 3, 2014, 12:38 GMT)

As a SL supporter I would care which team wins, I have alot of respect for both teams

Posted by ODI_BestFormOfCricket on (January 3, 2014, 12:34 GMT)

going to be a intresting one, with 280 as a target for pak in last day with 80 overs.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 12:24 GMT)

We are heading towards a draw or SL will win.

Pak will never try to chase this target.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 12:23 GMT)

Pakistan got overconfident, even the experts had put Sri Lanka out of the game. Looks, Saeed Ajaml has lost his bite.

Posted by wapuser on (January 3, 2014, 12:22 GMT)

Jayantha's shouting seems to be working.

Posted by lionspaw on (January 3, 2014, 12:20 GMT)

My Prediction is becoming true. Sri Lanka will win by 8 runs. ANY BETS????

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 12:15 GMT)

Tough times ahead for Hafeez in the second innings

Posted by safwan_tauseef on (January 3, 2014, 12:01 GMT)

If siri lanka make 300 lead then match will be go for draw and 250 is a fifty fifty chance of wining or lose the match

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 12:00 GMT)

Well Played Mathews and Chandimal. Match is even now and going to be a good contest between Asians. Now Hafeez and Ahmad Shahzad should perform like ODIs. Herath's 2 wickets at final stage of 1st innings will be a positive sign for Srilanka

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 11:55 GMT)

Very good comeback.Mathews shows real test character and captain's knock. If he continues to bat this session with bit of acceleration and with help of the tail it is possible to turn the tables. Pakistan only rely on Younis and Misbah, others will be vulnerable...

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 11:48 GMT)

certainly.sl now almost safe.another 80 runs n they r in a commonding position.pak has nearly last the intiative they had in the 1st innings.however match still open

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 11:47 GMT)

superb come back by SL

Posted by yorkslanka on (January 3, 2014, 11:44 GMT)

well done to Chandimal on getting his head down and showing what he is capable of. He missed out on a century today due to a lapse in concentration but has contributed well to the team. Hopefully Mthews will bat on and a) get a ton and b) bat time to ensure that the worst can happen in this match for SL is a draw but giving the chance of a win...another captains innings and again silences his critics from SL..well done...

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 11:22 GMT)

SL are almost home. Come on guys press home the advantage now. Put Pakistan under pressure for once as their batting line up is so brittle apart from Younis Kahn who has been a great servant of Pakistan.!

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 10:47 GMT)

@Amila, Surely you havent watched any cricket. Chandi already has some brilliant test knocks batting mainly at 6-7.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 10:06 GMT)

Pakistan does not have the batting to chase a score any higher than 250! Be interesting to see if SL can get a lead of say 280 by end play today to see how the Pakistanis would go about chasing that!

Posted by ClaudiaSL on (January 3, 2014, 9:52 GMT)

SriLanka running away with the match!

Posted by ajithabey on (January 3, 2014, 9:51 GMT)

This is the opportunity to pile on the runs and put pressure on Pakistan. These two young batsmen are playing extremely well right now and hopefully get their hundreds in due course. The lead of course has to be extended in excess of 250 if they are to make a strong challenge to the Pakistani batsmen.

Posted by IndvsEngseries on (January 3, 2014, 9:51 GMT)

@mzm149- Pak cannot chase anything above 150 and only Herath is enough to take SL to victory on final day. Now Pakistan should try to save this test match

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 9:43 GMT)

well played by SL. they are slowly taking control of this game. Still a lot to do. Wicket is still ok to bat on and SL would want these 2 to carry on.

Pakistan bowled ok but didnt get breakthrough. they have to get remaining wickets soon now. lead is going towards 200 and that will take some batting from paksitan to chase.

Posted by SlogSw33p on (January 3, 2014, 9:31 GMT)

If Pakistan bowlers can't do anything with the new ball, and Ajmal ineffective, what will SL seamers and Herath do?

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 9:27 GMT)

sri lanka in a good position now. 200 plus lead will build pressure on Pak. where is magical bowling of Ajmal. go pak go.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 9:17 GMT)

For the first time, the new captain and vice captain ambling proving their talents and justifying the Trust placed in them. Hopefully they are destination ed for greatness and one day, match the records by Mahela and Sanga.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2014, 9:12 GMT)

This 2 should and another 50 runs and focus on accelerating. Positive result is possible for SL at this stage. Get nearly 250+ and bowl well.

Posted by mzm149 on (January 3, 2014, 9:12 GMT)

Sri Lanka don't have bowling to defend less than 250 in fourth innings. They have been in trouble throughout the game and still are.

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