Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 1st Test, Galle, 4th day June 25, 2012

Sri Lanka complete massive victory


Sri Lanka 472 (Sangakkara 199*, Dilshan 101, M Jayawardene 62, Ajmal 5-146) and 137 for 5 dec (Dilshan 56, Junaid 3-44) beat Pakistan 100 (Randiv 4-13, Herath 3-30) and 300 (Younis 87, Shafiq 80, Kulasekara 3-80, Randiv 3-86) by 209 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

For a year and a half after Muttiah Muralitharan's retirement, every match Sri Lanka played was accompanied by questions about their ability to be a top Test nation in the absence of the game's greatest wicket-taker. Those questions will be less frequent after Sri Lanka completed their third Test victory in five matches, and their largest win over Pakistan on the fourth day in Galle. The result also snapped Pakistan's winning streak, which included a 3-0 blanking of world No. 1 England, at five Tests.

It wasn't one-way traffic on Monday, as it had been on the three previous days as Asad Shafiq and Younis Khan defied Sri Lanka for nearly two sessions. Younis gave another demonstration of his fourth-innings mastery, while Shafiq once again showed his appetite for a scrap, as he had in his two previous Tests, against England. Their resistance stretched the game to the final minutes of the fourth day, but Sri Lanka were never in any serious danger, remaining firmly in control all through.

Pakistan's only casualty in the morning was the nightwatchman Saeed Ajmal, run-out in the second over of the day after a direct hit by Suraj Randiv from cover. An early finish to the game looked on the cards when Younis started to walk off after seemingly holing out to mid-off, but there was some doubt over whether Tillakaratne Dilshan had got his fingers under the ball as he took a low catch. It was hard to tell from the replays, and Younis was given the benefit of the doubt.

The only other clear-cut chance in the session for Pakistan was when Kumar Sangakkara put down a tough catch at midwicket off Shafiq ten minutes before lunch. There were a few mild lbw appeals, and Shafiq's french-cut for four early in his innings, but for the most part, Younis and Shafiq were more comfortable than any other Pakistan pair has been this match.

They didn't go into a defensive shell, looking to score even though the target was well out of sight. Younis used the sweep, mostly the conventional version but on one occasion the reverse as well. Shafiq capitalised on the deliveries bowled on his pads, and also pulled out some hard-hit lofted shots as Sri Lanka's bowlers were made to wait for a breakthrough longer than they have had all match.

The pattern continued after lunch as well, as the pair negated the generally slow spin easily. Both batsmen confidently used their feet against spin, and were quick to put away the loose deliveries. Sri Lanka's fast bowlers weren't at their best, not testing the batsmen enough and being inconsistent with their lines, while the spinners patiently plugged away. The slow bowlers managed to find a few edges which didn't carry to slip on several occasions.

As the session progressed, it seemed Sri Lanka's best hope of a wicket would be once the new ball was taken, but Herath got one to spin off the pitch with pace, and Shafiq nicked it through to slip, via the wicketkeeper's gloves, to fall for 80.

Younis went on to become the first Pakistan batsman to complete 1000 runs in the fourth innings, but he couldn't become the first man to score five centuries in the fourth innings of a Test. Sri Lanka hadn't needed to wait for the second new ball to break the Younis-Shafiq stand but when they did take it, they got the big wicket of Younis in the very first over. Nuwan Kulasekara, who has been a huge threat with the new ball, got one delivery to hold its line, and not dip in as his deliveries usually do, causing a faint Younis nick to the keeper.

With those two strikes, Sri Lanka were in sniffing distance of a win. Debutant Mohammad Ayub, the last of the specialist batsmen, hung around for an hour and a half before becoming fast bowler's Nuwan Pradeep first Test victim.

In a disappointing match for Pakistan, one of the bright spots for them was the wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal. Not only was he competent behind the stumps, he showed promise with the bat as well, besides conveying a sense of enjoying the game. He battled for an unbeaten 40, shielding the tail from the strike as much as he could, but couldn't take the game into a fifth day as Sri Lanka's spinners completed the job a few minutes before stumps.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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  • Cricket on June 27, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    I agree with all the coments that UMPIRES made HEAVY BLUNDERS. But at the same time the Pakistani performance was very poor in all deparments. On the feild they were PATHETIC, look at the Sri Lankan fielding. Fast bowlers were horrible , the Sri Lankan paces did a good job on the same pitch, Umar Guls bowling was useless in both the innings and Junaid was rusty in the 1st innings though he was much better in the second innings, but by then the match was over. Pakistani batting was not comparable with the Sri Lankan batting. It looked like a match between Sri Lanka and some school team. Hafeez is no more a specialist batsman who can bowl, He should be treated as a specialist bowlier who can bat. Include one more batsman at the cost of Umar Gul.

  • Afraz on June 26, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    very unfair match and result.

  • Wicky on June 26, 2012, 14:52 GMT

    Extremely sorry 4 my lankan friends bt sl z nt a great test side by any stretch of imagination so this masive win was nt posible 4 them unles they dn't get d "out of d way" suport 4rm least expectd entity,so hats off to umpirs 4 makng it a reality against d bst than most of test playng nations in cricktng wrld.I DN'T AGREE TO THS BORing idea that had all decisions been made perfect,pak stil would have been beaten,u need 2 to 3 decisins to post 400+ on flat wickt,younis z one of best in tests at d moment,gd point 4 pak z that sl stil dependng on big 3,if pak can pick these 3 early in nxt games,it would b dificult 4 lanka to post even 150 against ths pak atack

  • Lalith on June 26, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    PAK needs a couple of first innings specialist batsmen. They got a couple of second innings batsmen in Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq.

  • Ranga on June 26, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    Umpires made heavy blunders and contest would have been more tight if DRS was there. Still I thought Pakistan were blown away in the 1st innings and nothing happend in the 2nd innings would change that. Granted Yunus Khan was unlucky in the 1st innings and he would have taken Pakistan to much more respectability. Do not talk about Thaufeeq Umar's dismissal. Surely it's 50/50 and umpire could have not raised the finger but what rubbish shot was that. So no arguements over that dismissal. Tharanga and Mahela got lives and added about 60 runs extra and due to poor decisions Pakistan lost about 100 runs. Dilshan got a very poor decision in the 2nd innings and pakistan tail got few blunder decisions. so I'd say add 50 runs in pakistans favor due to poor umpiring still they stare and mountain 159 run defeat. Sangakkara was the difference and Pakistan need to work hard on their game if they are to win but they will compete hard in the games t come. We Sri Lankans expect that from them..

  • Afraz on June 26, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    its an unlucky match for pakistan, and this the 1st test in galle is really won by Pakistan while there are so many bad decisions done by umpires. Where is review?? If there are reviews available in that match no doubt pakistan are winners. but review system was there in the England tour, this is unfair!

  • Dummy4 on June 26, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    Pakistan were outplayed.Sri Lanka deserved to win. But the umpiring was very pathetic. Drs should be included in the following series. Best of luck to Pakistan in the next few games.

  • Mr on June 26, 2012, 11:34 GMT

    the only positive thing in Pakistan's recent heavy defeat was that we lost to Sri Lanka....which we really don't mind..

  • MOHAMMED on June 26, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    congrats SL for victory, and more or less they won the series also, as remaining two matches will be high scoring draws....

  • Lalith on June 26, 2012, 10:05 GMT

    Men of the match SJ Davis and IJ Gould

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