Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Sharjah, 4th day

Sri Lanka move slowly towards strong lead

The Report by Andrew Fidel Fernando

January 19, 2014

Comments: 158 | Text size: A | A

Sri Lanka 428 for 9 dec (Perera 95, Mathews 91, Sangakkara 52) and 133 for 5 (Mahela 46) lead Pakistan 341 (Shehzad 147, Misbah 63, Herath 5-125, Eranga 4-60) by 220 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Mahela Jayawardene pulls, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Sharjah, 4th day, January 19, 2014
Mahela Jayawardene scored 46 at a strike-rate of 32 © AFP

If any thought lingered that Sri Lanka's designs for the match in Sharjah were aggressive, their batting in the third innings provided unequivocal proof they want nothing more than 1-0 from the series. By stumps, Sri Lanka had crawled to 133 for 5 from 71 overs and the barely-breathing run rate of 1.87 was their lowest for any Test innings since 1994, in which they batted at least 50 overs.

Staggeringly, given the run rate, Sri Lanka seemed the only team capable of victory for large parts of the day but, having dismissed Mahela Jayawardene 15 minutes before stumps, Pakistan laid claim to hope, mild though it is. Sri Lanka are 220 ahead with five wickets in hand, but even if they only manage to set a target of 250, the umpires have already set a precedent of allowing the spinners to bowl wide outside the leg stump, which means Sri Lanka are capable of being as defensive in the field as they have been with the bat.

Abdur Rehman provided the only notable excitement in the day, gleaning more from the surface in the middle session than any bowler had so far. In the afternoon, he delivered 13 overs from the Sharjah Cricket Club end, where spinners have preferred to bowl, but unlike Sri Lanka's left-arm spinner, Rangana Herath, he did not target the footmarks at the other end. Instead, Rehman worked off a tight off-stump line to the right-handers, flighting most, skidding some, top-spinning others, and generally beating the edge with more regularity than has so far been seen in the match.

He was rewarded with the scalp of Kumar Sangakkara, who capped a modest series by his standards by playing an injudicious sweep that he failed to control. Sangakkara should, in fact, have been out playing the same shot to the same bowler in the first innings but the umpire did not spot the ball striking glove on that occasion.

Rehman created his second dismissal all on his own. Kaushal Silva had been secure and confident on his way to 36, adapting to the variable bounce in the pitch by moving his feet with assurance. But he eventually pushed forward at a ball pitched on middle from Rehman, that ripped off the surface, beat his edge and took the outside of off stump. Rehman resorted to coming around the wicket later in the day, as Sri Lanka shelved any semblance of positive strokeplay. In the evening, though, Saeed Ajmal became the bigger threat, as Sri Lanka's inaction allowed Pakistan to persist with men around the bat.

But in a match that should already be marketed as a cure for insomnia, the third session, when 33 overs yielded 45 runs, was the dullest by a distance. The cricket might have generated more interested had the runs been delivered via an IV drip.

Leaving everything in the channel a foot and a half outside the off stump had been a hallmark of Jayawardene's hundred in the second Test and, though he was no longer hampered by a stitched up left-hand, he engaged the ploy once more on Sunday. A short ball or a pitched up delivery on leg stump sometimes drew pull or a sweep, but otherwise, he could not be stirred - not even by the prospect of hitting the half-century he had missed out on in the first innings.

He paid the price for his passivity. With Jayawardene on 46 and having failed to score for 15 balls, Ajmal had one take a little more turn from the surface, with an inside edge deflecting to short leg.

The bowling rarely troubled Angelo Mathews and, in turn, he sought not to tax the scorers either. Almost everything Pakistan delivered was met with a dead bat and soft hands, and even when he drove or punched there was not enough conviction in his strokes to beat the field. Pakistan kept two slips to him, and the bowlers attempted various angles of attack, but ponderous scoring rates had not affected him so far in the series and they failed to irk him now. His first 50 balls brought him eight runs, before he was dropped on 9 - the third time in three innings. He did not offer an aggressive shot after that, going to stumps alongside Prasanna Jayawardene at 14 from 99 balls.

In Pakistan's innings, Misbah-ul-Haq had resisted Shaminda Eranga's reverse-swing and Herath's persistence to help carve 50 runs off the deficit, as Herath completed the first five-wicket haul for a spinner in the series. Eranga generated considerable movement to take two wickets in his first two overs, though his dismissal of Mohammad Talha was a further instance of the umpiring inconsistencies that have put Pakistan at a marked disadvantage in the game. The ball was projected to be clipping leg stump, but at least four such appeals had been turned down in Sri Lanka's first innings.

Misbah's initial annoyance at Herath's leg-stump line solidified to disdain, as he attempted to swat the bowler over the leg-side boundary early in each over. He succeeded once and was foiled another time by Eranga, who leapt over the square-leg boundary line to catch the ball then toss it back before he hit the ground.

He farmed the strike so effortlessly off both seamers and slow bowlers that Sri Lanka soon abandoned hope of dismissing him, and placed all nine fielders at the boundary for the first four balls of each over. But even when they came in, Misbah did not miss his chance to steal a single and keep himself on strike. After Talha's dismissal in the 99th over, he faced at least five balls in every over until his own demise in the 108th.

Having crossed 50 for the third time in four innings, Misbah eventually mishit Herath to long-on. Junaid Khan fell the same way in Herath's next over to leave the spinner with 5 for 125.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

RSS Feeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by MaxG9 on (January 20, 2014, 9:04 GMT)

Yes, it is slow, even negative batting, but SL is 1-0 up so why allow Pakistani's a chance to level at 1-1? All the comments from Pakistani supporters reveal the hope that SL does not play it safe & therefore give the Pakistani's a sniff at a victory.

To comments about SL sportsmanship, just refer how many ICC Spirit of Cricket awards SL or its players (including Mahela J & when Mahela was captain) have won as against Pakistan (NIL!) or any other test playing Country other than NZ.

Posted by sadSajith on (January 20, 2014, 8:43 GMT)

@Supreet Singh, mate, I'm pretty sure if Sri Lanka were in the state the Pakistan here today's match, your comment will be the same but all "Pakistan" words will be replaced by "Sri Lanka" word...I'm pretty happy and proud our team is ahead of the Pakistan team which managed to defeat SA ( which later beat the India so badly ) on their own soil. But anyway if it calms you down when your team being beaten down by NZ, its ok, keep going...Its funny when we can count how many trophies india achieved, in Sri Lanka vs Pakistan match article...

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (January 20, 2014, 8:29 GMT)

Now the game is in Misbah's court. We need aggression to chase the given target because we are not in a position to win the series but aggressive play will help us to level the series. Finally I appreciate Lankans on great comeback after one day series.

Posted by Blade-Runner on (January 20, 2014, 8:26 GMT)

@ Yousufahmed1; I understand your frustration after suffering a heavy defeat in the hand of rank no.8 team yesterday. I also understand that India haven't won an away test in 3 years. What's your away record now ?? 9-0 ?? lol I also remember the test series between India and South Africa in 2001. 6 Indian players were charged with various offences. 5 players for excessive appealing and 1 player for tampering with the ball. You wanna guess who that was. lol As I remember it was Sachin. So, you really wanna talk about Sanga or Mahela or any SL player in that matter? Pls bring it on.

Posted by Pindia on (January 20, 2014, 8:23 GMT)

The possibility of a great, almost miraculous win is set up. Pak will have to bat like they have never batted before in modern times. Shehzad, Mansour Misbah and Younis are the key. They should hold Azhar Ali and possibly Shehzad back in case a draw becomes necessary. Play it like an odi initially. This is how greatness is defined. May have the be creative with the batting order and send in one or two pinch hitters, possibly the wicket keeper or even Ajmal, Talha or Rehman. Come on Misbah prove all your doubters wrong. Have seen no demons in this pitch and they need to make use of the hard ball to get the scoring doing. If the flair players are lost then Azhar, Younis and Misbah will have to try to save the draw...

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 8:23 GMT)

Lot of negative cricket played by Sri Lanka. Thats the main reason, of people not take interest in test cricket.

Posted by android_user on (January 20, 2014, 8:20 GMT)

totally happy with the boys for not going for a win:) #smart

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (January 20, 2014, 8:20 GMT)

finally thx to Sl they got out now go for win guys and level the series

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 20, 2014, 8:19 GMT)

Sri Lanka can win! Sri Lanka did exactly what we needed for a 2-0 win, and great job guys! Surely Pakistan will chase this down, and in the process, they may lose wickets, and that's when things become more and more interesting. RR is 5.0, which is tough, but gettable. It's ok even to lose to Pakistan, they are our brothers :) Well done boys!

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (January 20, 2014, 8:16 GMT)

wow never seen such a bore match in my lyfe come on Pak

Posted by MichaelBurton on (January 20, 2014, 8:11 GMT)

Pak has a great chance to win here though still the game is wide open. Nice watching this type of test cricket rather than watching my team getting humiliated in fast bouncy wickets or pile up runs in our flat tracks.

Posted by MichaelBurton on (January 20, 2014, 8:07 GMT)

Pak has a great chance to win here though still the game is wide open. Nice watching this type of test cricket rather than watching my team getting humiliated in fast bouncy wickets or pile up runs in our flat tracks.

Posted by TEROSHAN on (January 20, 2014, 7:55 GMT)

yorkslanka - seris win mean lot SL but we are difference nation difference cricketers so we should go for a kill rather than hanging there for draw.. If story is like this who protect the Test cricket from IPL BBL BPL ... No one will want play with SL PAK that is my point here pls lets play some exiting test cricket and have fun with great memories..

Posted by android_user on (January 20, 2014, 7:51 GMT)

pakistan cant win at there so called home and they blame others not winning away from home. u guys are good for nothing. i wish u will lose this series as well...

Posted by mzm149 on (January 20, 2014, 7:51 GMT)

Sri Lanka with support of worst umpiring ever and negative tactics is on the verge of winning the series.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (January 20, 2014, 7:51 GMT)

Batting rates are too slow. This kind of play turns people away from Test cricket. No excuse for SL not accelerating.

Posted by yorkslanka on (January 20, 2014, 7:26 GMT)

personally i dont understand people criticising about our slow pace?This (and any series) is about the result irrespective of how we get there..a 1-0 win is still a series win and that is all that counts...i would rather my team play boring cricket and win series than be swashbucklers and sink further down the rankings..we MUST play to our own strengths not to please our opposition.dont forget this is an away series for us soyou have to assume that Pakistan knows these wickets better than us. keep going Sri Lanka and bring us the series win..

Posted by Yousufahmed1 on (January 20, 2014, 7:20 GMT)

Forget youngsters but at least oldies like sanga and mahela should play the game with spirit. I have always seen them getting punished for excessive appealing as well. Every time opposition is batting and ball passes the bat they appeal too much and when it is given not out they argue with umpire. I understand their desperation to win a match coz they have not won a single series outside SL since 2000 but still they should leave a good example for youngsters. Another incident is when one of SL Captains asked the bowler to bowl a no ball so a batsman couldn't get his century as batsman was on 99(only 1 run was required for a team to win), I think the bowler was randiv. That was also very shameful. This series will be considered infamous for umpiring decisions. Though Sl will win it but it will be considered as bad as any of their other defeats outside SL in last 13 years or so.

Posted by android_user on (January 20, 2014, 7:15 GMT)

pak win is out of equation now. 300 in less than 70 overs on these sort of wickets is not easy in test matches. run rate of over 4 never acheiveable for full 70 overs.

its a draw or Sl now

means SL won the series either 1-0 or 2-0. smartly played

Posted by TEROSHAN on (January 20, 2014, 5:41 GMT)

There is 02 Things That People from SL Cant Understand 1 . Why PAK not declared There 1st inngs around 250 and let SL to think about there strategy I don't think SL could be in Deep deep trouble with this PAK Bowling (PAk miss the trick ) 2.Why SL are not looking to attack to PAK Bowlers and set the target around 350 - 375 let PAK to try on it (Which they definitely do as they lost series 1-0 and nothing mean to PAK if they lost the series 2-0 rather than being 1-1 and have go at it ?? Both teams mis the tricks

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 4:42 GMT)

SL will go hard for about 10-15 overs today. Match is toward SL with occasionally fragile batting of Pakistan.

Posted by Dhutugemunu on (January 20, 2014, 4:25 GMT)

@ Muhammad Taha Naseer Ansari; It does not matter. We Sri Lankans are happy to see such records for our side. That's real Test Cricket. What we want is to win the series. Why SL players should play rash shots and throw their wickets away? SL players are not willing to award a win to Pak.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 4:08 GMT)

I cannot accept this type of approach SL team. Even they maintained 2.91 batting averages against australia from 26 matches... If they want to make series win like this no one give to Sri Lanka test series with 5 matches. Are they suffer with test phobia?

Posted by Jegenadhan_94 on (January 20, 2014, 3:42 GMT)

I'm very disappointing about my fellow pakistanis because as they are a true spirited cricket nation I thought they have the real taste of test cricket... :/

Posted by sachinssnn on (January 20, 2014, 3:25 GMT)

Finally i'm seeing signs of Arjuna in Angi...Hope he will improve & bring SL ultimate glory...Cheers God Bless you lad...

Posted by ajithabey on (January 20, 2014, 3:19 GMT)

Well, Sri Lanka are in for a major battle if they lose 2 quick wickets today as it seems that Pakistan have crawled their way back into this test with a positive chance of winning it if they bat sensibly. Sri Lanka have only themselves to blame with some poor and negative batting in the second innings and losing half their side in the process. The 1st session will prove decisive for both teams and may the team who display a positive outlook win this game which is evenly poised.

Posted by starsgap1986 on (January 20, 2014, 2:11 GMT)

If good attacking pitches are laid then this wouldn't be a problem. Just look at how Sri Lankans are getting wickets of Pakistanis. They truly deserve it. That's test cricket. Get the all ten batsmen out. A solution only specific for this situation is that 1st innings both sides play 125 overs and then the last two days they resume second innings with unlimited overs.

Posted by MH19 on (January 20, 2014, 2:11 GMT)

Anthing over 250 runs chasing pakistan will be under tested pressure and will not be able to save the game. Herath and the seamers will run through the batting in SL will go 2-0. So hope mathews will close the innings at lunch unless bowled out.

Posted by SLMaster on (January 20, 2014, 1:31 GMT)

The way SL is playing is great. Remind you, the purpose of this tour for SL is not the winning, it is to establish a solid unit and future. They have achieved it.

Posted by kasifdotinfo on (January 20, 2014, 0:19 GMT)

A lot of people here seem to be criticizing Sri Lanka without having watched the match. There were early attempts at aggression (Sangakkara was looking to drive and sweep as soon as he came out to bat, as though in T20 mode), indicative of a genuine effort to win the match, but the conditions, bowling, and match situation have forced Sri Lanka to resort to Plan B - that is, to force a draw and preserve a series lead. One can hardly fault Sri Lanka for doing so, given how many times they have ended up drawing series 1-1 in recent years.

One should remember that Test cricket is meant to be a genuine sporting competition, rather than theater. Teams involved should be playing to achieve the ultimate goal of the series win, with the entertainment of spectators being only a pleasant side effect (although sponsors, broadcasters, administrators, and spectators themselves might sometimes think it should be otherwise).

Posted by android_user on (January 20, 2014, 0:12 GMT)

I suppose SL is trying to achieve the record of playing most overs in a test match and scoring the least run. and methews is going for the record of lowest strike rate facing 100 200 balls. what an achievement

Posted by Stuart_Watson on (January 19, 2014, 23:51 GMT)

Is there some confusion over terms here? "Rehman resorted to coming around the wicket later in the day" - by that do you really mean left arm over the wicket? Having said he: "worked off a tight off-stump line to the right-handers" earlier suggests that at that point he was bowling an aggressive around the wicket line, not a defensive left arm over over the wicket line (with the ball generally pitching outside leg stump)?

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 19, 2014, 23:50 GMT)

This is what is ruining test cricket, teams that don't have the confidence to say we are going to win this game. Sri Lanka were in total control but all they can see is draw or lose scenario. Push for a 300+ lead and have Pakistan in before stumps on the 4th day should have been there goal. You need to play test cricket as boldly as you play the shorter form for test cricket to survive.

Posted by t20cric on (January 19, 2014, 23:33 GMT)

SL should know right now that whatever the target Pakistan will have to chase it and using this knowledge they could have gave them a big score so that Pak would still believe that through sensible batting they can win and SL with there bowling would believe they could win too. But at the rate its going now I feel like Mathews wants to score an even slower century than Mudassir Nazar did. I really hope SL don't keep this approach in the future or else Eng vs SL will be dull & boring as well considering it doesn't take much to get Eng to try to draw a match as shown by the ashes. For Pakistan I am sad to say that even they would have probably went for the draw in this match as well if they were 1 up in this series so Pakistan should change their captaincy from Misbah (I think Misbah is the only Pak captain ever to be so defensive) to someone else (maybe Younis) cuz of Misbah's defensive techniques (but he shouldn't be dropped from the test side). Anyway hopefully Pak can play positively

Posted by t20cric on (January 19, 2014, 23:20 GMT)

I don't understand people who are okay with SL's approach & say that anyone who doesn't like it are not true cricket fans. I would say SL's approach in this test is what kills test matches. When a team bats at only 1.87 runrate then who will want to watch tests? We all know SL want a draw but there are far more entertaining ways of getting a draw too even in the position that this test is in. Its quite funny to see that the same people who bash Misbah for his slow batting (he always has a strike rate of at least 30 after he is out) are now praising SL for 'doing the right thing' & playing 'real test cricket'. As a Pakistani fan I don't hate what SL is doing cuz it will mean Pak won't win but cuz even after being in such a commanding position they are playing like this. The way I see it SL have made sure they don't win either by batting this slow. If SL had batted fast enough to have a 300 lead tomorrow then Pak would try to chase it & SL could have bowled them out. Continued...........

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 23:08 GMT)


Sorry to disappoint you buddy, but maintaining a strike rate of 14 odd is despicable especially during the penultimate days of a test match.

It's reminiscent of a soccer team wasting time during the end of the game when they're 1 up on the scoreboard. It's poor, negative, boring and quite frankly, disrespectful a batting display.

Safe to say, even your so called, "'hit n' giggle' t20" cricket is more entertaining than this. And that's a first time in my books.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (January 19, 2014, 23:06 GMT)

Sri lanka could have done better on the 4th day with the bat bit more. They lost 5wickets only because they were too slow.

Posted by android_user on (January 19, 2014, 22:36 GMT)

If SL can survive 20 overs on day 5 then they will be in an unassailable position as Pak won't even attempt the runs. This series has featured 2 sides who are terrified of losing and all the negative cricket that goes along with it. These sides are so far from the top that it is painfully embarrassing.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (January 19, 2014, 21:15 GMT)

Thekeeper yea right day 1 2 3 4 won by Sri Lanka... It's won by Ravi The Umpire, Had he given 4 LBW then situation would have been different , Pakistan were trying to play for win not for draw, did u not see split ball like mahila's webbing lol Get over it pal

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 20:40 GMT)

This is test cricket and in this form of cricket all your skills and strategies are tested. If Pakistani bowlers and fieldsmen were good enough for test cricket they would have taken more wickets, so stop whinging about umpiring and slow scoring rates. Sri Lanka are using a strategy of setting an achievable target with a limited number of overs to go for a win. Just wait and see what happens on day 5.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 20:38 GMT)

Pakistan fans here taking lessons here about how to play test cricket. sore losers. we sri Lankan supporters very happy about our team and enjoying every block. Do u know very block is getting us close to series win? there isn't any need of aggressive cricket from sri lanka. Dont try to be too smart. ( anywy cricinfo wouldnt publish this as they never do. keep it tnx)

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 20:09 GMT)

Sri Lanka seems to care only about records. This is why they are determined to draw out this match. Credit to the Pak spinners that they are bowling their hearts out. There was a time when the Islanders were known for swashbuckling batting. They brought excitement and joy for the fans. This current crop only wants wins to show on the record books and care little about us - the poor fans. Sri Lanka has opted for one of the most lifeless display of test cricket in recent memory.

Posted by TheKeeper on (January 19, 2014, 20:04 GMT)

Day 1, day 2, day 3 and day 4 have all been won by SL but PAK fans think SL is playing negative cricket. Lol, just shows how little these 'hit n' giggle' t20 fan know about real cricket.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (January 19, 2014, 19:20 GMT)

Imagine if Rahat Ali was still playing in the team.. Talha proved himself..5 wickets so far in this match..Now he has cemented his place in the team..I always wanted him to play in the national side..But he was always ignored and other bowlers preferred over Talha..Great Action and superb control over his line and length..Reverse swing is there in his Arsenal..All good qualities are there..Best of luck to Talha

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 18:54 GMT)

We seem to forget that Misbah is the real rock of Pakistan's batting. While others fire sometimes but miss more often, this man refuses to budge. He will score a 50 at least, no matter what. Their should be an award on those ICC nights for the batsman who has been the best "Dravid-like WAll" the previous year. Misbah would win that hands down, year after year after year, just like his annoying "tuk,tuk, tuk".

Posted by last_over on (January 19, 2014, 18:43 GMT)

We may lose this match b/c of poor fielding and inconsistent umpiring.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 18:39 GMT)

has a srilankan..i think to become a top test side..ur first priority should be aeming...for win...if the too difficult..then it is better to be save the for draw..but in this have gd chance to win..there for our batters should....added more runs..tommorow leat push this lead to 300runs..and give pak at least 60overs to have any chance of winning this..match..

Posted by android_user on (January 19, 2014, 18:35 GMT)

sri lanka are playing good. let them play for draw and win series. pakistan would of done the same. hats off to sri lanka

Posted by Lahori_Munde on (January 19, 2014, 18:14 GMT)

Terrible cricket by SriLanka. They are playing completely negative cricket from the day one in this test. This is not the sporting way to play the game..

Posted by mzm149 on (January 19, 2014, 18:11 GMT)

With Khurram Manzoor, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed in the team it is tricky to chase anything around 250 in 2.5 sessions. They will lose wickets as usual and will bring Pakistan to even more fragile situation. Pakistan might even lose in the chase. It is better for Pakistan that Sri Lanka keep on batting and settle for a draw. The situation is exactly like the one in first test where Sri Lanka gave Pakistan 300 runs to chase in 70 overs and Pakistan settled for a draw. Here win is more important for Pakistan as it will level the series. But Pakistan doesn't have batting to pull a miracle win here.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 18:08 GMT)

Dhammika Nuwan Bandara: That particular match is not forgotten. But that is history. All I want to point out is that we should have batted a bit more positively instead of been ultra-negative, which could have back-fired if we had lost few more wickets. In the end tomorrow we may go on to win the match and all these things will be forgotten. That does not mean our approach today was correct. Mahela got out mainly because of the negative mindset. Angelo Mathews would have got out the same way if that catch was taken.

Posted by Agnar on (January 19, 2014, 18:08 GMT)

Prediction for 5th day: SL declares with a lead of 260 with 70 overs left. Herath gets 7 wickets and SL wins.

Posted by android_user on (January 19, 2014, 18:00 GMT)

Well I see the draw of this match and I don't think that Pakistanu batting is capable of chasing on a deteriorated pitch. Misbah cannot dare to such bravery nor we expect from such captain. That's the only reason, the management have to decide. Misbah missed a chance of winning a match in first Test which cost them series. Criticism on Srilankan approach is not right.

Posted by supacricfan on (January 19, 2014, 17:55 GMT)

poorest subcontinental team is got to be pakistan,can't win anywhere ..what a batting line!!

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (January 19, 2014, 17:46 GMT)

All the Pakistani fans here are mad and its understandable why. They wanted the Sri Lankans to play aggressively and get out, so that Pakistan could chase a total and win. Too bad the Sri Lankans are smarter than that. They initially started good, but when they lost too many wickets, they found themselves at a disadvantage to win the match. Why throw away the series by playing like T20? Pakistani fans are now mad that they probably won't be able to win and lost the home series (even South Africa were only able to draw the series)...

Posted by Fogu on (January 19, 2014, 17:46 GMT)

SL is doing what they need to do to win the series however, it is tough to watch. I believe in test matches and all its nuances but i have to admit this day was tough to digest.

Posted by Stat1977 on (January 19, 2014, 17:38 GMT)

@Dhammika Nuwan -Good one mate.It's ridiculous when some Pak fans(who is unabale to distinguish ODI,T20 and test cricket), players,commentators expecting SL to play to lose to pamper them.It's a contest and someone deserve to look for a win or draw when the situation demands.I just wanna ask why Pakistan didn't chase for a win the in first test? Why did they went for a draw with a defensive approach? Did SL fans,players or Commentators trying to advise Pakistan?Lead of 250 plus runs may leave the game very open.Llook at the number of wickets fallen on 4th day.It will test the fragile Pakistan batting line up under pressure on 5th day track.It's not like in the first inning they had ample of time and freedom to predict.I guess SL still hold the upper hand even with 220 runs lead.One team dominates the other in all departments, and still the latter is being appreciated with "world class team".Doesn't matter it's been how long someone didn't win, what matters most is what happens now!

Posted by a-khan74 on (January 19, 2014, 17:34 GMT)

WHEN pak vs sl, always happy both teams player improving their skills in international level,particularly young guys from both teams playing around player like sanga/younas/jaywrdne/misbah. A pretty slow show from sl but they know wht they want.good luck both teams as sl is my home team after pak.peace

Posted by cricpolitics on (January 19, 2014, 17:34 GMT)

No wonder why the stadiums have been completely empty in these test matches. There is no dull site than watching a negative bowling and ultra defensive batting.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 17:26 GMT)

ok so them lankans have a 220 run lead,if u dont get them out before they take a 300 run lead,the sereis is over,an exercise in futility,while you are at it can we get curators from pakistan for home sereis.its funny that the curators are indian.can anybody explain anything to me.

Posted by Tal_Botvinnik on (January 19, 2014, 17:08 GMT)

PAK had a chance of chasing 300 on an almost flat pitch in the 1st test. yet they declined it. But what makes you think they will score a similar or lesser amount on a absolute deteriorating pitch.

Posted by mzm149 on (January 19, 2014, 17:07 GMT)

@ICCexpert: Funny comments about Ahmed Shehzad who just scored 147 and at a decent pace according to test standards. Earlier you preached about bringing in Sharjeel Khan, who failed miserably at international level.

Posted by zzby on (January 19, 2014, 17:05 GMT)

Khuram Manzoor drop catch will cost match for Pakistan, drop players who cant catch at test level. Saeed Ajmal is champion bowler but youngsters such as Kashif Bhatti,Yasir Shah and Raza Hassan should have given chances against Zimbabwe or in this series.

Otherwise how you should develop young spinners?

Posted by muzika_tchaikovskogo on (January 19, 2014, 17:03 GMT)

As a neutral observer I understand the reasoning behind Sri Lanka's approach. They're on the verge of their first ever series win against quality opposition in nearly 15 years. It may win them this series, but I hope they are mindful of the fact that this approach can only be used as a one-off. My greatest fear is that they may fritter away the gains of this series (should they win it) by persisting in their defensive approach.

Posted by android_user on (January 19, 2014, 17:02 GMT)

I too don't agree with the Sri Lanka approach to the game. They don't help themselves by starving the runs. If a few quick wickets fall, that gives the opposition time and confidence to chase it down.

Posted by ramzi1985 on (January 19, 2014, 17:00 GMT)

Well they said Pakistan have world class bowlers but they couldn't take 20 wickets in any of the matches played It even went to the extent of Ajmal requesting turning wickets to produce his magic I can't remember Warne or Murali requesting turning pitches to show their magic

Posted by armchairjohnny on (January 19, 2014, 16:54 GMT)


You missed the nuance of my post. Unless teams have enough of an incentive to win individual tests, then these kinds of tedious days cricket will remain the norm. Think of it this way: last game of a 5 test series a team is 1-0 up, knowing it could possibly win 2-0 but in doing so risked drawing the series 1-1, what would you expect? They would naturally go for the safety first option (Unless you're WI of the 80's or Australia of the late 90's and early 00's, but most teams don't have those kinds of resources).

The wider issue of constructing a workable test-championship structure still remains the main issue, since it's the only of way of encouraging a more positive approach in the longer format. A test championship needs to structured in such a way that teams are forced to risk defeat in order to go for a victory. A good structure which richly rewards victories more than draws would force teams to play in a more positive manner. Fans deserve better from the game.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 16:54 GMT)

its funny how some people finds things to say when their team is about to win a series. lols. and why do all these people think test is like T 20 to go all guns blazing? If t20 is FPS then Test is strategic. no wonder these uneducated people doesn't understand tht. dumb. both team are playing as a test team should and you ppl r dumb not to get it. if you want action go watch T20. this is about temperament and nerve

Posted by android_user on (January 19, 2014, 16:44 GMT)

@damika nuwan: i am not the 1 who is crticizing SL about their tactics. but answer to your comment is 4 wickets lost. and pak were batting 4 th not 3 rd. no body is saying SL going for that. every one saying SL could have 300 lead by now.

Posted by blogossip on (January 19, 2014, 16:42 GMT)

Im surprised at reaction shown over leg stump line yet same anguish isnt shown over slow batting.I guess its high time authorities seriously look into leg stump line bowling and negative batting. Test cricket is suffering and this has been one of the most boring contests ive seen for quite sometime

Posted by android_user on (January 19, 2014, 16:39 GMT)

@bouncer709 well analysed!

Posted by wapuser on (January 19, 2014, 16:39 GMT)

It's a draw,draw,draw and draw..Srilankans would never loose quick wickets giving pakistan a chance. Pakistan does have an issue with the lower batting order of Lanka. I don't think an intriguing finish on the cards. The Lankans read the series far more better than pakistan.with watmore leaving the pakistan team had no plan whatsoever.Misbah is not a strong captain and you can make out from the reviews being forcely taken by the bowlers with the captain had no say ..we need a strong captain..even yunis khan would do..i think!!!!!

Posted by lankantone on (January 19, 2014, 16:37 GMT)

if Sri Lanka can lead by 300. they are safe.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 19, 2014, 16:29 GMT)

Pakistan is a great team, and I have a lot of respect for them.

Posted by bouncer709 on (January 19, 2014, 16:27 GMT)

@armchairjohnny: What is the use of playing a test match if you from the start are looking to draw? Well Srilanka batted in first innings too with Snail pace, they scored 428 runs, a good total but they played for two days, and then in the bowling they were targeting leg stumps for the whole day. Think if one team play for two days, and score 428, in reply the other team also play two days and score around 428, the only result will be draw, just killing test cricket. Any way in this match despite taking lead in first innings Srilanka is not in position to win, because Srilanka can not declare now and when they will declare they will not be able to bowl out Pakistan team in remaining overs, but Pakistan still have chance to win if they get Srilanka out in first session for 40-50 runs.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 16:20 GMT)

what about this.... Test no. 2014 | 2011/12 season Played at Sharjah Cricket Stadium (neutral venue) 3,4,5,6,7 November 2011 (5-day match)

sri lanka 1st innings (all out; 153.3 overs) 413 (2.69 runs per over) 2nd innings(6 wickets dec; 58 overs; 259 mins) 181 (3.12 runs per over)

pakisthan 1st innings (all out; 138.2 overs) 340 (2.45 runs per over) 2nd innings (4 wickets; 57 overs) 87 (1.52 runs per over) MATCH DRAWN


Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 16:19 GMT)

Blade-Runner, your argument is partly correct but there was a huge risk involved in SL batting approach. When the batsmen play in negative mindset blocking virtually every ball, they will be crowded by close-in fielders. When that happens chances of negative stroke play creating a wicket is very high just like in the dismissal of Mahela. Angelo Mathews also nearly lost his wicket by playing a nothing shot. If that easy chance was taken Sri Lanka could be struggling to avoid defeat by now. Sri Lanka could have achieved the same objective by batting a bit more positively. Only a bit more. Had that been the case they would have been already 250-260 runs ahead and would be having multiple options to go for by tomorrow morning.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 16:19 GMT)

@ Tharaka Bandara, well said. you have used just two lines and it has explained everything. 'Sri Lankans went there to win the series but not to entertain Pakistani spectators or the commentary team'. lol

Posted by cricbon on (January 19, 2014, 16:15 GMT)

Series is now about to end, but whole series is showing the weakness of Pakistan Bowling, the Bowlers were failed to bowl according to pitch and plan, and bad bowling put heavy pressure on inconsistent Pakistan Batting. Pakistan made all 3 Test Match pitches different and looking their bowlers to creat some thrill, but all bowlers were indiscipline. Saeed Ajmal was ineffective due to good home work by SL. If we compare SL Pace Bowlers with Pakistan Bowlers, we see huge difference of inconsistency, SL Pace Bolwers bowled mostly full and incoming deliveries, but Pakistanis were on short of Length and Line. Even though Pakistan batting looked also indiscipline but its due to lack of domestic cricket, mostly Pakistani Batsmen either played International and sat on Banks, which is bad for getting good form. If Asad Shafiq was not in Playing Squad of ODI, then he should be released for domestic to gain form. Now they have to go domestic circuit and gain their form, they though talented

Posted by Ahmedpakistan6 on (January 19, 2014, 16:07 GMT)

@ everyone who thinks Sri lanka were a better team than Pakistan in this test series.

In the 1st test, Pakistan clearly were the better team. Pakistan bowled Sri Lanka out for a low score. Pakistan scored 300+ runs and gained lead. Then Srilanka scored a big total as well and thought they can bowl Pakistan out on the last day but weren't able to do so.

In the 2nd test Pakistan were out classed. Srilanka bowled Pakistan out for a very low score. Srilanka scored 300+ and gained lead. Pakistan batted very well and gained lead. Sri lanka chased the total easily.

In the 3rd test Pakistan is a better team. In the 1st innings Pakistan bowled very well but were unlucky. Poor umpiring decisions.When Pakistan were batting in there 1st innings, again they were extremely unlucky. In the 2nd innings Pakistan bowled magnificently.

Posted by Blade-Runner on (January 19, 2014, 16:00 GMT)

Some people here don't have a clue what they are talking about. Mathews knows that if we give 'em target over 320-340, Pakistan will never try to win the match. They will certainly go for a draw. So, he is scoring slowly to set Pakistan up for a target of 250-280 in 50-60 overs. Knowing how trigger-happy Pakistani batsmen are (barring Mr. tuk tuk), its a perfect target to dangle the carrot. It would great to see Paki batsmen self-destruct by trying to chase that target.:)) That's why SL batsmen are trying to waste as many overs as possible to give a certain target in certain amount of overs. Some hit 'n giggle cricket fans come here 'n comment like they've figured it all out. LOL Go 'n watch Big Bash people. This is test cricket.

Posted by avmd on (January 19, 2014, 15:52 GMT)

Both captains should be penalized for playing the most negative cricket I have seen in decades. Pakistan was happy to draw the game and lose the series, SL had no desire to make it 2-0, even with a little bit of effort and they could do it very safely but not with scoring rate < 2.

Posted by amilag on (January 19, 2014, 15:49 GMT)

It is surprised to see how peoples attitudes have changed towards cricket with the introduction of T20. They want every ball six and opponents need every ball wicket!

They don't realize this is a test match and one team is 1-0 up and need a draw to clinch the series win.

Posted by armchairjohnny on (January 19, 2014, 15:47 GMT)

There are two valid perspectives on this particular game:

1) The Pakistani bowlers simply weren't good enough in the first innings. Any criticism of the snail pace Sri Lankan batting by the Pakistan team in the current innings is irrelevant and mainly sour grapes, because at least Sri Lanka were able to get into a position to win the series.

2) Despite point one and the fact that Sri Lanka are likely to win the series, this game is a poor advertisement for test cricket. Criticism of this game from an entertainment point of view are still valid, since cricket is a sport and sport is meant to be entertaining.

Any attempts at creating a future test championship must aim to eliminate such tedious passages of play. Perhaps points could be awarded for things like run-rate on a session by session basis, so incentive is created to play more positively? Just a thought.

Posted by not_a_Flattrackbully on (January 19, 2014, 15:38 GMT)

I think they adapted according to the situation. Obviously they like to have the 2-0 win. But i think pak have turn it around quit well. I feel that Sri lankans are implimenting the plan B here. 5 wickets are too much at the moment.

Posted by android_user on (January 19, 2014, 15:33 GMT)

wow 100balls and only 14 runs that shows the inability of lankan's betsmen its good you guus dont get to play test matches any more lankans you should fight like a man or die like man and clearly pakistan has shown far more better display of cricket then lankan's letz go pakistan go for a win if scared srilanka decides to give us a chance pothetic

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 15:29 GMT)

the_predator, where did you get the statistics to claim Sri Lanka has not won an away series in 20 years? Please do not write outright lies in a public forum like this. Sri Lanka beat Pakistan 2-1 in Pakistan in 1995/96 and 1999/2000. Sri Lanka has beaten all test nations in test matches overseas other than India and Australia. Keep in mind that Sri Lanka started playing test cricket only in 1982 and on a regular basis from 1989-90 due to problems back home and lack of overseas tours. Within 14 years of becoming a full member we won the world cup and runners up on last two occasions. We do not have a large base to select players from like in the case of India. Regarding this game, although conditions were difficult Sri Lankan batsman would have been more positive. If so they would have totally eliminated the possibility of a loss by now, although chances of that happening even now are very remote. Still some 50-60 runs in 15-20 overs tomorrow can put them in a position to force a win.

Posted by jerryman on (January 19, 2014, 15:28 GMT)

SL should have got an extra 40 runs tdy ... Pity re mahelas wicket at end of day. Sl still have achance if they can get another 60-70 runs tmrw .Getting 280 will not be easy as wicket will take spin tmrw . hopefully it will suit Rangana style of bowling .. Pak still in with chance as well if they can get Sl remaining wickets for about 30-40 runs . My gut feeling is it will be a draw...but an exciting finish on the cards

Posted by android_user on (January 19, 2014, 15:18 GMT)

@ the keeper: one of the reasons that Sri Lanka are ahead are the umpiring mistakes and inconsistencies. Read the article carefully and you realize. Here is an excerpt.

" Eranga generated considerable movement to take two wickets in his first two overs, though his dismissal of Mohammad Talha was a further instance of the umpiring inconsistencies that have put Pakistan at a marked disadvantage in the game. The ball was projected to be clipping leg stump, but at least four such appeals had been turned down in Sri Lanka's first innings."

Posted by android_user on (January 19, 2014, 15:15 GMT)

Pakistan have an outside chance to win this.5 wickets for a few 20-30 runs,it can go all the way down to the wire.

Posted by SriLankanYoungBlood on (January 19, 2014, 15:10 GMT)

@ThilankaK Nice Team Selection 4 T20. Then it would be the Eldest T20 Team in the World. This is their Names and Ages Respectively. Dilshan 38,Mahela 37,Sanga 37,Dilruwan 32,kula 32,Malinga 31 Why didn't u add Hearth(36),Chamara Silva(34),Kandamby(32),Welageadara(33), Mubarak(32) instead of Kusal,Sachie,Angi and Mendis. Surely we could add Ranathunaga,DeSilva,Murali,Gurusinha ,Mahanama also. Pls add those also. Then players from Bangladesh,England will say uncle to our players.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 14:54 GMT)

I think if SL want to win this they should declare within 15 overs and gather 50 runs . Otherwise it will be a draw.

Posted by shujjatkhan on (January 19, 2014, 14:51 GMT)

Both teams have equal chances to win, but it can be drawn if any of the team wants to draw the test.

Posted by the_predator on (January 19, 2014, 14:48 GMT)

What has happened to PAKISTAN. Guys you people do have great talents. with all those how can you people loose to such a mediocre team like Srilanka? How can you loose to a team who has not won a away series in 20 years. How come your bowlers are not able to get rid of most over -rated super talent Jayawardane (and those other geniouses)? come-on guys This Srilanka get thrashed by an very ordinary INDIAN outfit everywhere in universe. Pakistan is a much better team than INIDA is.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 19, 2014, 14:42 GMT)

Congratulations Mahela for your 11 000, we are very proud of you. Sri Lanka should make sure the required run rate is above 4.0 when Pakistan comes to bat. 3.5 is doubtful, because Pakistan is ready to chase down even 6 per over as they have to do it, but this is Test cricket, and it's possible to put 9 fielders in the boundary lines, so it's not easy to score that faster like in ODI or T20. But, a challenge should be given, and ideally 4.2-4.5 will be the best to avoid defeat. Go Sri Lanka go! You can do it!

Posted by TheKeeper on (January 19, 2014, 14:42 GMT)

Very disappointed with Snagakkara today because he has all the talent, technique and experience to easily construct a fine innings, but like most of the commentor's here, I feel that Sanga is also stuck in T20 mode these days.

Also disappointing was the commentary of Ramiz and Waqar. They were saying PAK bowled very well and SL bowled badly/negatively. But the fact is that PAK could not get 10 wickets in the first innings and gave away 428 runs, while SL got PAK all out for only 341. Another fact is that SL made PAK bowlers toil for 172 overs in the first innings and when PAK batted SL bowled only 106 overs.

They said Ajmal bowled well and Herath bowled bad, but Ajmal got only 2 wickets and Herath got 5, in the first innings.

I think that PAK cricketers, fans, commentators and all have lost their comprehension of what test cricket is all about.

Posted by heartbreakerz on (January 19, 2014, 14:37 GMT)

have to say that the lankans have been playing very dull n negative seems as if they had planned after the 2nd test that they will only play for a draw in this test. In the 1st inng they made only 400 after batting for almost 2 full days n now they are scoring at 1.5 rpo in the 2nd inng. Even when they were bowling, they packed the legside with fielders n bowled outside the leg stump to prevent Pak from scoring. They might win this series(which is great) but they surly havent played like winners in this 3rd test so far.

Posted by Pindia on (January 19, 2014, 14:33 GMT)

41/2 coming to tea... got a feeling it's Ajmal time- time to show why he is the modern great spin bowler...

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 19, 2014, 14:33 GMT)

Sri Lanka asked for trouble, and now they got what they asked for. Really disappointed! I don't know why Sanga swept like he had no other option! We expected more from Sanga. Sanga was complaining about lack of Test matches, and when he is given the chance, why does he throw away the chance? Now, if Pakistan take another two wickets, it's going to be very difficult. People may criticize the slow run rate of Mathews, but he did the right thing as far as I understand. First, avoid losing. We don't need to win this match. We just want to wrap the series 1-0, that's all we want. Why to be so greedy? Someone can say the slow run rate might back-fire, but, that's not the reason if we lose this. The reason is, careless batting by some. All the best. Play safe, for gods sake!

Posted by android_user on (January 19, 2014, 14:33 GMT)

Sri Lankans went there to to win the series but not to entertain Pakistani spectators or the commentary team led by Rameez.from the comments here it's obvious that the SL game plan has worked and it has no doubt hurt the pakistanis

Posted by SriLankanYoungBlood on (January 19, 2014, 14:32 GMT)

People criticism heavily about Slow Batting by SL. But anyone noticed how much spin in this's beyond Galle stadium in SL which is known to be best spinning track in the world. Any one noticed how Mahela played in his a Best Batsmen against spin in Sri Lanka i have never seen Mahela struggling against spin like today. It's because of Over Friendliness of spin in this track. Actually his 46 like 100 in any other track in the World. Eventhough I am Die Hard Hater of Mahela but i have to praise to this inning. And don't foreget Ajmal who is d best spinner in the world playing with Rehman who is equally good spinner. In SL spinners Hearth is did well to get 5 wickets but Dilruwan couldn't get best out of him. If mystery spinner like Mendis playing in this track even Thraindu Kaushal Pak in big trouble.

Posted by android_user on (January 19, 2014, 14:32 GMT)

SL batting time out of game and in a result pak win out of equation. and rightly so. many say they are too slow or what. but i think the plan is simple: wont give pak enough time to do it and win the series. and they will hope that pak get bowled out in 60-65 overs which SL will leave.

my personal view is that getting all out soon will help SL. target chasing wont be easy and they will have more overs to bowl out. if target is out of reach equation then pak will also not go for it . SL can when if its a realistic test match equation for pak. i dont agree 4 rpo for 60 odd overs on 5th day isnt possible.

pak bowled well. you call it unlucky or what but they had chances which they didnt take. manzor's drop after bowlers had waited for so many overs was a poor effort. no way near international level. he was sleeping there. it costed about 10-11 overs to pak to break that partnership.

will be hard to win. 87 runs lead was too much and vital. 3 quick wickets 3rd day hurt pak bad.

Posted by GauravJust4Cricket on (January 19, 2014, 14:22 GMT)

Any Result will come !!! Bowlers can turn the Game ..

Posted by GauravJust4Cricket on (January 19, 2014, 14:21 GMT)

it will Draw or any result ?

Posted by android_user on (January 19, 2014, 14:06 GMT)

SL does not want to go for the win. mathews strike rate tells the whole story. if they wanted to win they wouldn't have batted 2 whole days or would have scored over 550

Posted by JoshFromJamRock on (January 19, 2014, 14:06 GMT)

Sri Lanka might actually lose this match...They just need to lose their next 5 wickets for less than 50 runs. Its tough to do but don't give up on Pakistan because they have to try in any case. Chasing 260 in 70 overs will be tough again but Misbah needs to encourage aggression rather than "I prefer losing 1-0 than 2-0" because a series loss is a series loss no matter the margin. Run rate of 3.7 is achievable. Score 60 from the 1st 20 overs then chase the remaining 200 from 50 overs at run rate of 4. No defensive field can prevent four singles an over (even with negative bowling) as there is little risk, the fielders will all be deep, and the occasional straight four or six will come. If SL see to many singles, they'll bring up the field a bit and thats when Pakistan should pounce on them. Have some faith Pakistan.

Posted by Lion83 on (January 19, 2014, 14:04 GMT)

If SL can get another 50 runs in the morning the lead will be 270 and Pakistan have 65 overs to chase the target will set a exiting finish to the final day this is grinding test cricket at it best both teams look to different tactics and this is why test cricket is different from shorter formats.

Posted by android_user on (January 19, 2014, 14:03 GMT)

I think fawad alam should be called for no.3 spot.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (January 19, 2014, 14:03 GMT)

Pakistan could have won this match if there have been good umpiring decisions in this match in the first innings Javed

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 14:01 GMT)

who cares about the ftp . this is test cricket at its best

Posted by momer79 on (January 19, 2014, 14:01 GMT)

Most of the comments i have read here so far, are from cricket watchers not from cricket players. SL has done well, it is difficult to score here so they have to bat until they have 300 under their belts, no matter how long it takes.

Pakistan will fancy chasing around 275 in 50 overs. SL bowlers will have to maintain their line and length and it would not be a task for bowlers because pakistan is going to play like a ODI game.

Pakistan bowlers have done well, hardly any lose deliveries.

Sangakara thrown his wicket away. Poor commentary from Rameez, saying herath didn't bowl well and got 5 wickets because of bad shoots played by pakistani players. He blowled according to plan let pakistani players to do mistake.

Posted by android_user on (January 19, 2014, 13:59 GMT)

4 special ist keepers there bcuz they r greate batsmens. if u look at sl history sl is one country which never haf problems about solid keepers. even our u19 captain is a keeper. all the keepers in domestic level is as good as or more capable than specialist batsmen. so all four of them should be in the team. if they r the best batsmen u hav you hav to play them chandimal was bad in this series but should give him few chances. and prasanna jayawardene is the best glovemen in the cricket world right now. just watch him and enjoy the art of wicket keeping

Posted by TheKeeper on (January 19, 2014, 13:58 GMT)

Today Mahela Jayawardene became the 1st Sri Lankan & 8th player in the world to go past 11000 test runs. Congrats MJ.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (January 19, 2014, 13:53 GMT)

What negative cricket by Sri Lanka with both with bat and ball !! That's not the spirit of the game. They would only discourage people to watch Test cricket through such negative tactics. Disappointed!!

Posted by android_user on (January 19, 2014, 13:53 GMT)

if sl went hard at pak and get out cheaply most people who are questioning sl batting might say " poor cricket from sl"

Posted by android_user on (January 19, 2014, 13:51 GMT)

first of all sri lanka is doing well. if someone want to see 4 & 6 they should watch t20 instead of test cricket. but right now sri lanka is doing great job and they have a chance winnig it. when people tring to play their shots they tend to loose their wicket. look what happen to misbah and sheshad both set but lost wickets due to attacking strokes. Pakistan is desparate to win this, so they have to tske their chances. just give them 60 overs with 300 target. thats how sl can win this. if you give them soo much time they have good chance of winning. with misbah and y2k batting that is big risk. since pitch is not helping much if they settled with soo much overs left sl has less hope. soo big target with soo much overs to ball is not safe as small target with 60 overs. 60 overs is enough to take 10 pakistan wickets if they ball well and manage to get trough misbah and y2k. Rangana herath is the man Pakistan to take care. all the best for both teams.

Posted by TheKeeper on (January 19, 2014, 13:50 GMT)

In a time where T20 has taken centre-stage, everybody seems to have forgotten about what it's like to play cricket for a marathon 5 days. Batting on a day 4 track in not easy and along with the pressures of the scoreboard and the match/series situation makes it even harder.

I feel that SL have played very well today. First, they removed Pakistan cheaply enough this morning and later have built themselves a rather strong lead, which will help them to apply the pressure on the PAK batters.

SL must believe that on a day 5 track they can remove PAK batsman easily and prolong their innings until around lunch tomorrow; giving themselves around 65 to 70 overs to bowl out PAK and win the game.

PAK mistake was not batting longer today and applying the pressure on SL to go for the runs, thereby giving SL enough time today to cruise. Bad cricketing decisions from PAK leadership. PAK getting out cheap has allowed SL to build a (possible) winning lead.

Posted by android_user on (January 19, 2014, 13:44 GMT)

good to see pakistan bowling

Posted by android_user on (January 19, 2014, 13:42 GMT)

Oh c'mon boys... just stop blaming SL for slow Runrate. Even drawing this match is a big win for SL, cz we can see deadly turn in the pitch. Its very hard to score. If SL brave enough to go hard and try to win.... will be interesting.

Posted by SILVERSANGA on (January 19, 2014, 13:41 GMT)

I have no idea why SL bat this much defensively. Yes we only need to draw this test to win the series but getting over defensive won't get you anywhere and it shows. 133/5 with a lead still hovering around 200. We have allowed Pakistan to come back in to this game which we should have done in the first place.

Had we played some aggressive cricket(we could afford to do that given that we have a good lead) we would have left Pakistan with only choice of a draw or a loss. But now Pakistan can still win this. Time won't be an issue. They may have to chase something like 270/280 with full day's play left and Pakistan will go for it this time. They have nothing to lose. that's where SL has to be careful.

Posted by billumodon on (January 19, 2014, 13:40 GMT)

test matches like these give birth to articles that test match cricket is dying,who the hell wants to see a match when you score 350 runs in 150 overs,attacking players like angello mathews play with a strike rate of 14,shame on pak and srilanka, especially srilanka for playing such negative cricket.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 13:39 GMT)

Time and again it shows that Misbah is completely defensive player & captain, he should have some plan and discussion with the Bowlers, that every bowler will get about 5 overs each, go try hard as possible with some sorts of planing attacking cricket, There are more than one batsmen are playing for only only themselves. Ajmal now should stop talking big and try to concentrate his own performance.

Posted by sandeep33 on (January 19, 2014, 13:38 GMT)

shame to see two asian countries playing very boring test crickt,,,not the crowd even the players are not intrstd to play

Posted by Smiling on (January 19, 2014, 13:37 GMT)

Am so glad the majority of the critics do NOT play cricket. How in the world you can compare the Ashes in a completely different country, COMPLETELY different pitch and conditions to Sharjah is completely beyond me. What's going on in the centre is a chess game...SL awesome, Pakistan incredible bowling. Have you lot bothered to really learn about cricket, pitches and game plans? With a flat hard wicket giving naught to bowlers, batsmen who need to block everything, Pakistan have gleaned 5 wickets. I personally am loving this battle. And I'm from neither country!!!

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (January 19, 2014, 13:32 GMT)

Yes agree with Khurram. As SL has amassed a decent score already it could be a blessing in disguise if SL gets bowled out sometime after lunch. If not SL will not declare to give Pakistan even a sniff of a chance! So hopefully SL will get to a score of 270 by lunch. But come what may it's going to be a great days cricket tomorrow!

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 13:27 GMT)

mathews is playing tuk tuk tuk tuk tuk his batting is worst. great chance to win for sl after day 3 mathews waste . get out team 2-0 some times 1-1 because never scored runs 3o vers just 43 runs what is doing mathews. sl never win vs bangaladeshm in ban bangaladesh in form vs nz

Posted by Haz95 on (January 19, 2014, 13:27 GMT)

Both Anwar and Bilawal are good bowling allrounders but Hammad is still the best in Pakistan currently, he should get in on bowling alone and he's a better bat than both anwar and bilawal(but not by far tho).... Until Umar Akmal is recalled as a specialist batsmen along with Fawad, Sohaib and Haris, Paks frail middle order will continue to be in tatters.

Posted by Haz95 on (January 19, 2014, 13:25 GMT)

I don't understand why there are 4 specialist wicketkeepers in SL playing currently. I'm not sri lankan but you could drop the useless Chandimal for a batsman and Prassana for a bowler and sanga or silva can keep.... @ICCexpert.. Why would we get rid of shahzad? He scored 147 in his third test match and currently he is the best opener in Pakistan....Jamshed and Sharjeel lack the technique to compare with Ahmed and people like Manzoor and hafeez aren't even comparable...The only comparable one currently is Sami Aslam but he will soon lose his tremendous form...especially when exposed to international...just like Sharjeel Khan.

Posted by PadMarley on (January 19, 2014, 13:21 GMT)

Mahela paid the price of being over cautious .... if him and Mathews had scored only 20% faster than what they had, SL would have a lead of 250 by now. I think this is where Mathews got it wrong!!

Posted by android_user on (January 19, 2014, 13:20 GMT) is very difficult to score in this dead way to score.if u try u will fail.i dont think that mahela and angi are doing wrong thing.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (January 19, 2014, 13:17 GMT)

Poor cricket from SL ! Killing remaining interest of test cricket! So boring

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 13:14 GMT)

Strange comments from ICC expert about Misbahj. Under the circumstances his approach is saving the match otherwise it would have been 2-0. Match is still not over defeat is looming on but Misbah is not at fault, all his team mates are responsible for this debacle. Aman Ullah Khan/ Brooklyn/USA

Posted by Ahmedpakistan6 on (January 19, 2014, 13:11 GMT)

@ ICC expert, Well, In case you forgot to see the scorecard, it was Ahmed Shehzad who scored a blistering 147 and helped Pakistan avoid the follow on. If he had got out early then you would've seen Pakistan following on.It was him who was playing when his partners were falling down like a deck of card. Misbah was the one who took Pakistan over 300

Posted by cricketsubh on (January 19, 2014, 13:07 GMT)

again sL depends on mehela and sanga if both of them fails they not wining any think knick by mahela sl need to find some young players.

Posted by Ahmedpakistan6 on (January 19, 2014, 13:06 GMT)

PATHETIC, DEFENSIVE AND POOR CRICKET AT IT'S BEST!!!! extremely poor cricket by the Srilankans. 27 runs in the last 21 overs even worse than the last innings.It seems they are not playing to win or to do anything but only for a draw. This is the reason people hate test cricket. Mahela Jayawardene the so called legend isn't even able to score runs at quick pace and well I can't say anything about mathews.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (January 19, 2014, 13:04 GMT)

Pakistani fans might say SL is scoring very slow. To me it looks like they are blowing pretty tight. SL has decided that it does not make any sense to take any risks. I think they are right. What's important is to go back with a series win which will put them in good stead for the forth coming tire to Bangladesh. Hopefully they can leapfrog over Pakistan in the test rankings!

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 13:01 GMT)

As predicted Pakistan was all out before lunch and their tail of 5 could not wag long. Thanks to 16 runs of Jonaid khan otherwise lead was over 100. Draw is the possibility as liked by Sri Lanka from the word go. Pakistan must now think for the future and find an excellent young Wicket keeper cum batsman and get rid of 3 Akmals and par time Sarfraz. In b0wling Irfan will be back, Jonaid and many more will be available not a big problem. In batting Asad Shafique +Azhar have no ground to be considered while Sohaib and other one or two talented youngsters must be tried. Lot of search is required to find the best wicket keeper cum batsman for all the three formats. Well chance of a draw is left over in this game only. Aman Ullah Khan/Brooklyn,NY/USA

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 12:41 GMT)

I think SL have closed door completely. 27 runs in last 21 overs. session so far 22 overs and 28 runs.

And last thing we need is a simple catch dropped when bowlers were waiting for wicket for such a long time. Poor standards of fielding.

Posted by android_user on (January 19, 2014, 12:37 GMT)

This game is so boring. come on SL vs PAK If you cant score more than 3 runs per over. Please dont play test cricket. Teams like this make test cricket so boring. learn from Ashes how to play test cricket.

Posted by wapuser on (January 19, 2014, 12:01 GMT)

Difference between SriLanka and the top test teams is their will to take a game by the scruff of the neck and win. They consolidated and saved the first match but now with a serious opportunity they opt for a draw.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 11:32 GMT)

I think if pak bowl out SL, it will help SL as well. and they will get more overs to bowl paksitan out. chasing wont be easy. Otherwise, SL's 1st priority is not to loose this game. So they are going just like 1st match. And will not declare anytime soon and it will take significant time out of 5th day. If pak get them out, it will give SL good chance to win with good score.

Posted by mark2011 on (January 19, 2014, 11:12 GMT)

SL is loosing the advantage by scoring too slow. They allowing bowlers to dominate and now after 4 down just 89 runs...certainly SL might loose this game if they cant reaach 300+ runs lead overall by 2mro luch. Sl show have score 120 runs by now in the 2nd inning.. whats point of just spending time without scoring, when u lost the wkt then u have done nothing... that's what happening now... SL giving their advantage to Pak by their attacking cricket by SL...either to draw or win SL shud score something substantial.. but now Pak will smell the chance and things gonna difficult for SL. Pak score 3.21 rpo in 1st inning, but SL only 2.41 and now in 2nd Inng even worst...why SL allowed bowlers to dominate....???

Posted by android_user on (January 19, 2014, 10:58 GMT)

I give credit to misbah and junaid for reaching our score to 341. all the hard work of openers century stand and shehzads wonderful innings wasted by the rest. azhar ali or hafeez whats the difference. shafiq or umar akmal whats the difference. shafaraz score 70 something in one innings and failed next time. I can give sarfaraz 2 more series but I dont see my others should be given chances anymore. shafiq scored 2 hundreds as far as I remember playing I dont know how many test matches. he had a wonderful partnership with misbah or younis in south africa but that was then and this is now. like jamshed is rested. azhar needs a rest too. and so does shafiq. I might be harsh on shafiq but I think its time for shoaib maqsood to get a test cap and that way pakistan can mentor him and his temperament to play l9ng innings.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (January 19, 2014, 10:57 GMT)

SL are surely but steadily moving towards safety. They need to get to a score of 280 by 10 overs before lunch on day 5 . This will set Pakistan 75 overs and a glimmer of hope that they can go for it as they will only need 3.55 runs an over. This will set a great finish to a well fought test by both sides. But I have a feeling SL will not leave any doors open for Pakistan as they have already have the series in the bag! Therefore Pakistan will have to fight hard to bowl SL out in the next 40 overs.

Posted by ThilankaK on (January 19, 2014, 10:53 GMT)

@ Lakshmi Kanth ; It's 2 - 0 mate wait & watch tomorrow ! & one thing, yes we saw a interesting match short wile a go, NZ beat IND ! It's bohoth interesting yaar !!

Posted by ThilankaK on (January 19, 2014, 10:47 GMT)

Our T20 team should be; Dilshan, Kusal, Angi, Kapu, Sanga, Mahela, Perera, Kula, Senanayake, Ajantha, Malinga

Posted by ICCexpert.... on (January 19, 2014, 10:43 GMT)

Time to get rid of selfish players like Shahzad, Azar Ali, Shafiq and totally defensive captian Misbah. None of them is playing for the country all paying for there place in the team, it so pathetic.Sick of this current Pak team. Need to groom in Harris Soahil, Soahiab Maqsood, Rizwan, M. Nawaz and Hammad Azam.

Posted by ThilankaK on (January 19, 2014, 10:27 GMT)

Our ODI team should be ; Dili,Kusal Perera,Sanga,Mahela,Chandimal,Angi,Thisara,Kulasekara,Senanayake,Ajantha,Malinga.

Posted by ThilankaK on (January 19, 2014, 10:17 GMT)

Our next test team should be ; Kaushal,Dimuth,Sanga,Mahela,Thirimanne,Angi (c),Chandimal (wk),Dilruwan or Welagedara,Rangana,Eranga,Nuwan Pradeep.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (January 19, 2014, 10:04 GMT)

I think Pakistani coaching team needs to spend more time on training the team on basics of how to use the DRS system. They keep wasting there reviews and the fans keep blaming the system. Always treat the cause not the symptoms!

Posted by android_user on (January 19, 2014, 9:54 GMT)

y this test series nothing interesting nothing is their same old result 1-0

Posted by Pindia on (January 19, 2014, 9:27 GMT)

41/2 coming to tea... got a feeling it's Ajmal time- time to show why he is the modern great spin bowler...

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 19, 2014, 9:13 GMT)

Should highly appreciate Shaminda for his commitment. In ODI, you will see such great efforts in the field, but after bowling this many overs, and still he did that! That's awesome! Shaminda needs more experience, and with time pass, he will be the best pacey we have. May be in 3 years time.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 19, 2014, 9:09 GMT)

Well fought back, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka did well too. All games against Pakistan are soooo unpredictable. It's great to watch... But, my god, we seriously need to win the series. Play carefully Sri Lanka. First, make sure we don't lose. That's the most important thing. People will say anything, but we need the series to win. People will say it's not nice to watch, so and so, but it doesn't matter. Make sure we cross the line first. Even if we don't win this match, make sure we don't lose. Still it is possible.

Posted by M.gundroo on (January 19, 2014, 8:56 GMT)

Well played SL. You deserve to win and win you will. Over all you have dominated this series most of the times. Just a target of 250 will be uphill task for Pak as most of their batsmen are playing for a place in the team and are in no frame of mind play positive cricket let alone chase a target.Your well deserved victory will be great favour to us too,we may be able to get rid of so many club cricketers and help us to bring in some fresh faces .Over recent years it is our bowling attack which has been face saving for us otherwise we would in bottom 3 test playing nations.

Posted by Pindia on (January 19, 2014, 8:12 GMT)

It has gone ok for Pak today. Time to see whether they are the best bowling attack in the world. The fact that someone like Talha can come in and look really threatening shows their depth. Ajmal will have to take at least five and Pak's batsmen will have to be positive from the off. They can chase 250...

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 8:09 GMT)

When we speak of umpiring inconsistencies, what we have to realise is that both the umpire and the Hawk Eye are guessing. Nonetheless for the impressive graphics of the Hawk Eye, it is only showing us where it thinks the ball is and not where it actually is. That is why both the umpire and the Hawk eye have to agree before a decision can be made! I don't think DRS has favoured Sri Lanka in any way.

Posted by android_user on (January 19, 2014, 7:58 GMT)

as expected after yesterday's play pak tail didnt add much. 50 runs added for last 4. the real issue waa those 3 wickets late yesterday. all 3 results seem possible at the moment with pak's win chances are little.

if SL bat 2 session today normaly it will take lead to 240.

issue will be again like 1st match, how much target they want to set to pak and how many overs they will leave. with 1 up in series, i think they will not do a courageous declaration, they will just hope that pak will have to push harder and give away wickets in wharever overs are left.

good game. to me SL win has more chances with draw an option and pak win has less chances but all 3 results possible.

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