Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2012

Junaid and Sangakkara top performance charts

How the players fared during the Tests between Sri Lanka and Pakistan

Kanishkaa Balachandran

July 14, 2012

Comments: 14 | Text size: A | A

Sri Lanka



Kumar Sangakkara drives one down the ground, Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Pallekele, 5th day, July 12, 2012
Kumar Sangakkara was so close to making consecutive double-centuries © AFP
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9
Kumar Sangakkara
Bounced back after a poor home series against England with 490 runs in three Tests. Was the only consistent middle-order batsman. Unlucky to miss a double-century in Galle, but was to blame for getting out on 192 at SSC. Tormented Pakistan yet again, and became the quickest to 2000 runs against an opponent.

8
Tillakaratne Dilshan
Back to his attacking best with two centuries. Gave Sri Lanka a rousing start in Galle, which allowed them to bat Pakistan out of the match. Scored his first Test century at home in three years and first since he quit the captaincy late last year. Had to miss the third Test for family reasons.

7
Rangana Herath
Expectedly had a heavy workload as the lead spinner. Lucky to get a few wickets to poor umpiring in Galle and toiled on a batting track at the SSC. His 15 wickets bode well for Sri Lanka and he will continue to be their strike bowler in home conditions.

Thisara Perera
Played one Test, when Sri Lanka picked four seamers in Pallekele. An inspired selection, he dented Pakistan's top order during a four-wicket haul. Blasted 75 to propel Sri Lanka to a first-innings lead as well. Will be tested as a bowler in friendlier batting conditions. A good prospect as a bowling allrounder, he was Sri Lanka's star through the tour.

Mahela Jayawardene
An underwhelming series with the bat - 100 runs in three Tests - but scored for his captaincy. Succeeded in leading Sri Lanka to their first series win in three years. Kept the spirits high despite payment issues with the board. Goofed up at the toss at the SSC, but achieved what he set out to do, which was to win a series against a strong Test side.

6

Suraj Randiv
Impressive in Galle, claiming four wickets in the first innings. Rated highly by his captain Jayawardene. Better on pitches offering extra bounce. Needs more top-order wickets to establish himself in Tests.

Dinesh Chandimal
Played as makeshift opener in his only opportunity, in Pallekele, as a last-minute replacement for Dilshan. Flopped in the first innings but his positive batting in the second raised hopes of chasing 270. Played his natural game. Threw it away after a fifty, which altered Sri Lanka's plans of going for the win. Remains their brightest prospect, but his future is in the middle order.

Tharanga Paranavitana
Under pressure to justify his place coming into the series. Couldn't convert some of his starts, but his 75 in Pallekele was crucial for him and the team, with Pakistan looking to make inroads in bowling conditions. Still circumspect outside his off stump. Should be part of Sri Lanka's plans for the next Test series.

Nuwan Kulasekara
Rated highly by Jayawardene and Sangakkara, who see him as a future Test spearhead. Needs more opportunities. Effective in Galle, and was lucky to have a couple of marginal umpiring decisions go his way, but struggled at the SSC, where there was little seam movement. Capable of making a successful transition to Tests from being a limited-overs specialist. Pace is not his forte, but his swing and cut make him a handful.

5.5

Thilan Samaraweera
An unusually tepid home series, despite a fighting 73 in Pallekele. Dismissed four times by Saeed Ajmal. Handled the moving ball well when Sri Lanka were under pressure. His experience will count on the tour of Australia later this year.

Prasanna Jayawardene
Decent series behind the stumps, especially when standing up to the seamers. Could have had a better series with the bat. Remains Sri Lanka's best wicketkeeper.

Dilhara Fernando
Sri Lanka's flawed fast bowler made his 17th Test comeback, in Pallekele. Took three wickets, but two of them weren't with deserving deliveries. In the team for his pace and he injured Adnan Akmal. Will have to compete for a place once the injured fast bowlers return.

4
Angelo Mathews
A lukewarm Test series, after his heroics in the one-dayers. Managed two wickets in three Tests and was used only in short spells, given his injury record. Capitalised on a good batting track at the SSC. As vice-captain, it's clear Sri Lanka have long-term plans for him as a leader. Needs to watch his fitness.

3
Nuwan Pradeep
Currently holds a dubious Test average of 345. Took his solitary wicket in Galle, but went without success at the SSC. But he's among the fastest bowlers in the country and can give variety to the attack. Needs to work on his bowling fitness. Sri Lanka need to be patient with him.

Pakistan



Junaid Khan dismissed Tharanga Paranavitana, Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Pallekele, 5th day, July 12, 2012
Junaid Khan is Pakistan's latest left-arm talent © AFP
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9

Junaid Khan
Started as a support bowler for Umar Gul but went on to lead the attack. Praised for his aggression and perseverance. Reversed the ball to right-handers from around the wicket on a flat SSC pitch. The tips from Wasim Akram paid off. Displayed stamina and didn't drop pace despite hot conditions. With 14 wickets, including two five-wicket hauls, he was the standout performer among both sides.

Azhar Ali
Justified his reputation as a young Test batsman with a strong temperament. Showed attention spans needed to play long innings. Failed in Galle, but made up for it with a patient 157 at the SSC. His 136 in Pallekele was a better knock as it came under pressure, with Pakistan fighting to erase a first-innings lead. Scored more tons than any other batsman in the year so far and also improved his conversion rate.

8

Asad Shafiq
Tightened his technique and carved out a fighting century in Pallekele. Showed temperament and maturity as a No.6, batting with an injured Adnan Akmal when Pakistan needed to set a strong target. Also had a valuable partnership with Younis Khan in Galle. Has age on his side.

Mohammad Hafeez
Shrugged off poor one-day form to be Pakistan's leading run-scorer in the Tests with 315 runs. Was given the captaincy in Galle due to Misbah-ul-Haq's ban. Erased self-doubt with a gritty 196 at the SSC. A vital opener in all formats but was under used as a bowler.

7

Saeed Ajmal
Pakistan's leading wicket-taker with 15, but wasn't quite the threat he was made out to be. Mahela Jayawardene said his batsmen played Ajmal better than in the previous series in the UAE. Let down by umpiring in Galle, hurt by the absence of DRS, and struggled to contain runs at the SSC. But remains their most potent spinner.

Adnan Akmal
Batted courageously in Pallekele, braving a fractured finger during a stubborn ninth-wicket stand with Shafiq. His unbeaten 35, which included two reverse-sweeps, kept Sri Lanka at bay when they were trying to end Pakistan's innings early and chase a modest target.

6

Abdur Rehman
Perhaps Pakistan's best spinner in tough bowling conditions at the SSC. Posed questions with the occasional ball that turned and bounced. Picked up 4 for 78 for his efforts, but was unlucky to miss out in Pallekele because Pakistan played the extra fast bowler.

Misbah-ul-Haq
Not his most memorable series with the bat - 111 runs with one fifty - but Pakistan missed his captaincy and calm presence in Galle. His toughest series since November 2010, when he first became captain, and first defeat. Made a bold declaration in Pallekele, against his normal play-safe approach. The timing of his declaration will be debated, but needs to be commended for making a game out of the Test.

5

Taufeeq Umar
A disappointing series, given his experience. Failed in Galle, where he got a rough decision, but hit back with a positive fifty in the first innings at the SSC. Sri Lanka kept him in check by having the wicketkeeper stand up to the stumps against the seamers. Saddled with wicketkeeping duties in Pallekele following Akmal's finger injury.

Younis Khan
An average series with the bat - 167 in three Tests. Struggled in the one-dayers and got a poor umpiring decision in the first innings in Galle. Made 87 in the second, but in a losing cause. A chirpy character on the field.

4

Umar Gul
A strange series for Gul. He picked up one wicket in two Tests, not the numbers you would expect from a senior bowler. Better umpiring in Galle would have helped. He ran in and bowled with pace but wasn't lucky.

Mohammad Sami
Made his 14th Test comeback. Picked up Jayawardene's wicket with a yorker in Pallekele but was underutilised compared to the other quicks. The question is if he has done enough to remain on the selectors' radar.

Mohammad Ayub
Was Misbah's replacement in Galle. Tough debut, walking in with Pakistan reeling at 44 for 5. Ended with 25 and 22. The 32-year old has experience in first-class cricket but may not find a middle-order spot, especially with the emergence of Azhar and Shafiq.

3

Aizaz Cheema
Like Gul, Cheema bowled well in patches but didn't produce the results. Wicketless at the SSC. Dropped for the third Test in favour of Sami.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by stormy16 on (July 16, 2012, 8:38 GMT)

If you look to the future the prospects are very different with SL relying on experience to win this series while experienced players let PAk down badly. The Pak youngsters did an admirable job while the SL youngsters were no where to be seen. Significant that Perera and Chandimla were given ONE chance and they both had an impact on the game - make you wonder if its a talent problem or opportunity issues with SL, specially when you consder Fernando showing once again why he shoulndt be given opportunities but he has already got 17! When you consider Amir has to come in to this bolwing line up and Akmal is an attacking batsman waiting in the wings, things are looking up for Pakistan. The amazing thing is this is nothing new with Pakistan's amazing abilty to come up with quality cricketers over the years.

Posted by playitstraight on (July 15, 2012, 17:18 GMT)

Pradeep, who was heralded as Sri Lanka's new paceman, has an average of 345! I don't think he should bowl, maybe he should become a batsman!

Posted by   on (July 15, 2012, 11:13 GMT)

its bad umpiring more than any thing else that has created this difference. I think Pak should insist for DRS in all future series like England did in their recent series with SL.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (July 15, 2012, 2:15 GMT)

Its really amazing to see Sangakkara make all those runs against such a quality attack. Ajmal IS by far the best spinner at the moment. Junaid Khan was seaming the ball in all directions all the time and add Rehman to the mix and you have a quality attack

Posted by   on (July 14, 2012, 19:37 GMT)

@johnathonjosephs, i think you only saw the 1st srilankan ininngs of the 3rd test. Junaid khan took only two wickets in the seaming conditions, the rest of them were on a flat day 4 day 5 pitch and on the flatter ssc pitch. He bowled his heart out. Where as sangakara got all of his runs on flat tracks (he's a great batsman no doubt about that) but he got a duck in the first innings of the third test because he batted on seaming conditions. And yes ajmal and herath bowled on pitches which had nothing in it for them but they still performed very well. But giving perrara 7 and rehman 6 is wrong. Rehman performed with both bat and ball on flat tracks where as perrara performed on good seaming conditions (with the ball) and on relatively decent batting conditions(with the bat).

Posted by AdrianVanDenStael on (July 14, 2012, 19:08 GMT)

I'd be inclined to give more credit to Herath and Randiv. We know Sri Lanka have some great batsman, especially Sangakkara, but it's getting wickets which is going to be key if they are to be a force and win tests in the post-Murali period. With Agantha Mendis not blossoming as was once hoped, Rangana Herath has a huge responsibility and some huge shoes to step into, and he's not letting anyone down. He's played a big role in all of the three tests that Sri Lanka have won since Murali's retirement. Contrary to what this article suggests, his performance in the test Sri Lanka won in South Africa shows that he isn't only a threat when he's lucky or when he's at home.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (July 14, 2012, 17:02 GMT)

I don't get this. Why isn't Sangakkara a 10? If Hafeez score only one 190 and failed elsewhere, why is he given an 8? Also, Ajmal and Herath toiled very hard on flat wicket and also seaming wickets, yet they still ended up with a 7. When Junaid Khan feasts on a wicket that is seaming, he is given a 9

Posted by   on (July 14, 2012, 15:24 GMT)

why this article always repeating same umpiring decisions again and again???? my only question is "IS THIS THE FIRST SERIES UMPIRES MADE MISTAKES???"

Posted by   on (July 14, 2012, 13:45 GMT)

Zia ul Haq is a tall wiry left arm pace bowler who has caught the eye of coaches, fans, his fellow professionals and the media during his short career. On his domestic T20 debut in the recently concluded Super 8s and in front of a sell out crowd of 15,000 at the Rawalpindi stadium and in front of millions watching the action, Zia took 5 for 23 against Faisalabad in a superb spell of seam and swing bowling and regularly touched the 140kph mark.

Posted by vrn59 on (July 14, 2012, 12:36 GMT)

Pakistan looks good for the future, with two fantastic young batsmen: Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq and a potent bowling attack comprising of Umar Gul, Mohammad Aamir, Junaid Khan, Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman (in subcontinental conditions). Hafeez and Taufeeq are a decent opening pair, and Younis and Misbah are prolific middle-order batsmen although age is not on their side. Adnan Akmal is a decent wicketkeeper. I'd like to see Umar Akmal included; after all, this team is bound to see a couple of retirements soon. I'd also love to see Yousuf back; a great batsman!

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