Pakistanis fail to capitalise on fine start
Day 2 Pakistanis 301 for 5 (Manzoor 83, Butt 82, Pushpakumara 3-83) trail SLC XI 354 for 5 dec (Kapugedera 115) by 44 runs
Pakistan got some valuable batting practice on the second day of their practice game against Sri Lanka Cricket XI, with openers Khurram Manzoor and Salman Butt both scoring half-centuries. Three wickets towards the end of day's play pegged the tourists back, as the Pakistan middle order failed to drive home the advantage after a great start.
SLC XI started the day at 278 for 3, and added 67 to their overnight total to declare on 345 for 5. Chamara Kapugedera, batting on 90 at the close of the first day, reached his century before he retired on 115.
There was not much reward for the Pakistani bowlers. The medium-pacer Abdur Rauf picked up two wickets while spinners Danish Kaneria and Fawad Alam finished with one each.
In reply, Pakistan were well served by their openers who put on 153 for the first wicket. Though they both fell in the 80s, Manzoor and Butt found fine form before the start of the Test series. The pair scored at a healthy strike-rate in preparation for the more important matches to come.
Pakistan were comfortably placed at 207 for 1 at one stage, before offspinner Muthumudalige Pushpakumara triggered a mini-collapse, reducing the tourists to 238 for 5. Fawad Alam and Faisal Iqbal prevented further damage, as they added 63 runs for the sixth wicket to remain unbeaten at the end of day's play.
Earlier, Pakistan's middle order failed to make this outing count, as Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf could not make an impression. This was a comeback game for Yousuf, his first match for Pakistan after his stint with the ICL.