Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2nd Test, SSC, 1st day August 14, 2014

Seamers make it Pakistan's day

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Sri Lanka 261 for 8 (Tharanga 92, Junaid 4-69, Wahab 3-66) v Pakistan
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Pakistan gave Mahela Jayawardene a guard of honour but were relieved to see his back not long after
Pakistan gave Mahela Jayawardene a guard of honour but were relieved to see his back not long after © AFP

Six thousand two hundred and twenty one days after earning his Test cap at the nearby Premadasa Stadium, Mahela Jayawardene's life as a Test cricketer came a full circle as he strode out for the last lap at the SSC, his favourite venue. Everything seemed like it was as per the script: bright skies, a firm pitch with nothing for the bowlers, Sri Lanka winning the toss and opting to bat and a solid platform by the openers. The farewell of one Sri Lanka's best batsman couldn't have been planned any better. Except, the Pakistan bowlers had their own agenda.

Jayawardene arrived at the crease for the 251st time, to a guard of honour by the Pakistan team and with the crackle of the firecrackers in the background, 25 minutes before tea. He was 137 short of 3000 runs at the venue but could only shave off four runs in a nervous stay that ended in the first over after tea. In the 16 deliveries that he faced, he was dropped once by the wicketkeeper off Junaid Khan before he was trapped by a sharp offspinner from Saeed Ajmal. He chose not to review, and rightly so.

Misbah-ul-Haq may have patted Jayawardene's back but at that moment, the relief of having dismissed Kumar Sangakkara, their tormentor in Galle, was still writ on Pakistan captain's face. In a rare failure, Sangakkara had been dismissed for 22 as he chopped on a length delivery from Wahab Riaz. He had added 65 for the second wicket with Upul Tharanga, who scored 92, at 4.33 runs an over. Jayawardene's dismissal soon after gave Pakistan the upper hand. The bowlers struck five more times in the third session to take control.

It was a solid effort from Pakistan on a pitch that had nothing for the bowlers. They stuck to disciplined lines and found the odd bit of life. Fortunately for Pakistan, it was one of those days where almost every time the ball did something, it induced a fatal error from the batsmen. That Pakistan had eight wickets by the end of the day despite dropping a few catches was evidence of the number of chances created.

Junaid got the odd ball to move off the pitch, Wahab, playing his first Test in three years, generated hustling pace, Abdur Rehman was disciplined throughout and Ajmal did better than the Mars Rover by finding life where there was none. And that, despite not being able to find a breakthrough in the first 33 overs during which it looked like the pitch was a bowler's graveyard.

Then, Junaid went round the stumps, pushed the compact Kaushal Silva back with a sharp bouncer, before luring the batsman into a loose drive off a widish-length delivery. Sarfraz Ahmed did the rest, taking a sharp chance low to his left, ending the opening stand at 79 - Sri Lanka's best since the 118-run stand in Dhaka in January. Silva, who had picked up five boundaries through point off Wahab, was dismissed for 41.

It was Wahab, though, who caught the biggest fish, picking up the wicket of Sangakkara. Initially a bit wayward, Wahab corrected his radar and posed problems with his pace. He troubled Tharanga with short ones and eventually picked up the opener through a sharp catch by Azhar Ali at short leg.

Till then, Tharanga had looked on course for his second Test century despite not being the most fluent. Junaid induced a couple of false strokes from him in the first over as some deliveries seamed away, he was beaten by Ajmal's turn, survived a stumping chance on 28 and picked up some runs off edges. But he also picked up 12 boundaries, most of them emphatic hits through off. One such shot - a fierce cut off Wahab - helped him cross fifty for the fifth time in Tests.

Ajmal had troubled Tharanga through the innings. In his fourth over, he beat an advancing Tharanga in the air only to see the wicketkeeper miss the stumping. The blame could hardly be laid on Sarfraz, though, because the ball had kicked off the pitch, smacking the keeper on the side of the head for which he required some treatment. The bowler also drew an outside edge off Tharanga but that dropped short of Younis Khan at first slip. But a sign of Tharanga's growing confidence was his two boundaries - both through the covers - off the spinner in the 47th over. However, he was dismissed 10 runs after Jayawardene's departure, leaving the repair job with Angelo Mathews.

But all Mathews could do was watch as Pakistan picked up wickets at regular intervals at the other end. Junaid trapped Niroshan Dickwella and Dilruwan Perera lbw in the first over with the second new ball, the DRS ruling in Pakistan's favour in both cases. Mathews joined the others in the pavilion soon, edging a short of length delivery from Wahab to the keeper, down the leg side. He reviewed, but lost. Strangely, the DRS had not been used during the first 80 overs at all. It was that sort of a day.

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Greatest_Game on August 15, 2014, 14:56 GMT

    @ Gaurav Manchanda commented that "The same flat track bully Kohli smashed world's best bowler Malinga for 96 runs in his 7.2 overs in Australia."

    Wow - 96 in 7.2 overs. That is pretty amazing, and a whole lot more than Kohli has managed in in his last 8 test innings … oops, make that 9 innings as he has failed yet again.

  • _-Will-_ on August 15, 2014, 5:57 GMT

    Its a pity teams like Sri Lanka, Pakistan and even South Africa do not get to play more tests. These truncated two-test affairs are robbing those teams, fans and cricket lovers of good cricket.

    Add New Zealand to that list too, they're showing fight these days and the Taylor / McCullum / Hesson turbulence seems to have subsided.

    It was interesting reading the comments from all matches beginning with the SA series. Using only these as a reference, I concluded that despite being played on so called roads, which apparently morph into minefields by day five, these tests are producing results. Teams are demonstrating the various tactics and strategies required to succeed on these wickets. Even the drawn match between SA was a result - one engineered by SA to ensure a series win, break a victory drought in SL and preserve their remarkable away record.

    Tactics that bring results. Fighting it out for five days. No rhetoric about processes.

    As an Indian I will take these any day.

  • Kavum on August 15, 2014, 5:55 GMT

    What a farewell. Its like celebrating the retirement of your favourite CEO by burning down the corporate headquarters. Tharanga who was the foremost among the batters to do the bulk of the damage was poor, to say the least. Kaushal with his educated edges would be a perfect sub-assistant coach to give under 11 or under 13s slip catching practice. As a test player, he is the pits. Defend stoutly or edge on the off is his mantra. The less said about MJ, Sanga and Mathews' batting on the day, the better. Thirimanne is woeful and is out of his depth. He is like an old Eastman Kodak slide that has been exposed time and again and now has lost its colour and vibrancy. Time to head to the archives for the vice captain. Pakistan will win this game and Mathews will come out with the old hackneyed phrase - we can "take the positives". As Ajith has indicated, the prospects, if any, for the future are pretty bleak.

  • on August 15, 2014, 5:49 GMT

    @sanjaya dias, well said man

  • katch47 on August 15, 2014, 4:08 GMT

    Dilruwan Perera's transformation from an opening batsment to a walking wicket riddles me. Started his test career with a 95 and now he is one duck away to make his own mini shooting gallery

  • SLSup on August 15, 2014, 3:59 GMT

    Just when I thought I'd heard every inconceivable things ever could be said about cricket Ajith Dias Abeygunawardena comes out with a GEM! - that SL must declare on overnight score on 1st day! And that after failing to put up a decent score on what Matthews called a BELTER!

  • katch47 on August 15, 2014, 3:50 GMT

    Come on Mahela, another 90 runs in the second innings, or 40*, you can do it

  • on August 15, 2014, 3:43 GMT

    Tharanga responds with a fine knock. Thirimanna and Kusal yet to play responsible long innings in Test matches. Lets hope Welagedara can make a difference with the ball. Besides Angelo, SL is missing a good enough part time bowler in the team, which gives a huge workload to the main bowlers - unless they can finish off the Pakistan innings quickly.

  • on August 15, 2014, 3:36 GMT

    its funny to see some people commenting here as if we have already lost this match cos its only the first day that ended and there is long way to go in this match,regardlesss of the outcome i have to salute the pakistani players for there good freindly attitude on field and the humble pakistani fans who are gracious in both defeat and victory

  • on August 15, 2014, 3:11 GMT

    Pakistan took the honours celebrating their independence day in style. SL should be bold and declare on their overnight score and take the advantage of bowling in the first session to put pressure on Pakistan as it will be useless to keep batting. As usual the middle order batting of SL were found wanting and it is dreadful to think that without contributions from Mahela & Sanga how this team would fare in the future. The match is interestingly poised for a result. Good luck to both teams.

  • Greatest_Game on August 15, 2014, 14:56 GMT

    @ Gaurav Manchanda commented that "The same flat track bully Kohli smashed world's best bowler Malinga for 96 runs in his 7.2 overs in Australia."

    Wow - 96 in 7.2 overs. That is pretty amazing, and a whole lot more than Kohli has managed in in his last 8 test innings … oops, make that 9 innings as he has failed yet again.

  • _-Will-_ on August 15, 2014, 5:57 GMT

    Its a pity teams like Sri Lanka, Pakistan and even South Africa do not get to play more tests. These truncated two-test affairs are robbing those teams, fans and cricket lovers of good cricket.

    Add New Zealand to that list too, they're showing fight these days and the Taylor / McCullum / Hesson turbulence seems to have subsided.

    It was interesting reading the comments from all matches beginning with the SA series. Using only these as a reference, I concluded that despite being played on so called roads, which apparently morph into minefields by day five, these tests are producing results. Teams are demonstrating the various tactics and strategies required to succeed on these wickets. Even the drawn match between SA was a result - one engineered by SA to ensure a series win, break a victory drought in SL and preserve their remarkable away record.

    Tactics that bring results. Fighting it out for five days. No rhetoric about processes.

    As an Indian I will take these any day.

  • Kavum on August 15, 2014, 5:55 GMT

    What a farewell. Its like celebrating the retirement of your favourite CEO by burning down the corporate headquarters. Tharanga who was the foremost among the batters to do the bulk of the damage was poor, to say the least. Kaushal with his educated edges would be a perfect sub-assistant coach to give under 11 or under 13s slip catching practice. As a test player, he is the pits. Defend stoutly or edge on the off is his mantra. The less said about MJ, Sanga and Mathews' batting on the day, the better. Thirimanne is woeful and is out of his depth. He is like an old Eastman Kodak slide that has been exposed time and again and now has lost its colour and vibrancy. Time to head to the archives for the vice captain. Pakistan will win this game and Mathews will come out with the old hackneyed phrase - we can "take the positives". As Ajith has indicated, the prospects, if any, for the future are pretty bleak.

  • on August 15, 2014, 5:49 GMT

    @sanjaya dias, well said man

  • katch47 on August 15, 2014, 4:08 GMT

    Dilruwan Perera's transformation from an opening batsment to a walking wicket riddles me. Started his test career with a 95 and now he is one duck away to make his own mini shooting gallery

  • SLSup on August 15, 2014, 3:59 GMT

    Just when I thought I'd heard every inconceivable things ever could be said about cricket Ajith Dias Abeygunawardena comes out with a GEM! - that SL must declare on overnight score on 1st day! And that after failing to put up a decent score on what Matthews called a BELTER!

  • katch47 on August 15, 2014, 3:50 GMT

    Come on Mahela, another 90 runs in the second innings, or 40*, you can do it

  • on August 15, 2014, 3:43 GMT

    Tharanga responds with a fine knock. Thirimanna and Kusal yet to play responsible long innings in Test matches. Lets hope Welagedara can make a difference with the ball. Besides Angelo, SL is missing a good enough part time bowler in the team, which gives a huge workload to the main bowlers - unless they can finish off the Pakistan innings quickly.

  • on August 15, 2014, 3:36 GMT

    its funny to see some people commenting here as if we have already lost this match cos its only the first day that ended and there is long way to go in this match,regardlesss of the outcome i have to salute the pakistani players for there good freindly attitude on field and the humble pakistani fans who are gracious in both defeat and victory

  • on August 15, 2014, 3:11 GMT

    Pakistan took the honours celebrating their independence day in style. SL should be bold and declare on their overnight score and take the advantage of bowling in the first session to put pressure on Pakistan as it will be useless to keep batting. As usual the middle order batting of SL were found wanting and it is dreadful to think that without contributions from Mahela & Sanga how this team would fare in the future. The match is interestingly poised for a result. Good luck to both teams.

  • on August 15, 2014, 2:09 GMT

    I am happy that Mahela is playing his last match with our team

  • amuni12 on August 15, 2014, 1:22 GMT

    What a gesture by PK players showed to Mahela when he came to bat. Other nations should learn these professional attitude from PK players. Also, they had a superb performance with the bowl to limit SL to 260/8. I think they have a chance to level the series.

  • SLSup on August 15, 2014, 1:16 GMT

    Guard of Honor for Mahela. The PAK not only DO decent they even look GENUINE about it. This is not showmanship followed by bad mouthing while huffing and puffing against oppostion (ENG/SA of late comes to mind). I like this PAK team. Somewhat different to teams from the past yet they rank 3rd having played their cricket AWAY for so many years. It would be a pity if they lose the series and fall in ranking to 6th as expected. So... here's for Cricket and for a PAK win @ SSC for all that is right about the way they play cricket. What's the point of being #1 when you've lost your soul (That's a general philosophical statement, not a reflection of whoever is #1 in ICC rankings now).

  • on August 15, 2014, 0:50 GMT

    @rajesh_india mate you look so much interest whenever SL playing cricket. Thank you so much for our support towards SL team. Of course we neighbour's should behave like this. Maybe you have not much interest to see you own team performances as they keep failing every where. But we wish them to come back strongly until that you are welcome to enjoy SL cricket mate.

  • on August 14, 2014, 20:55 GMT

    I would take the advantage of bowling early morning than expecting Herath n prasad score more runs for us.

  • t20cric on August 14, 2014, 20:33 GMT

    Just wondering why Indian fans have come out to bash Pak and SL when their own team is doing so bad. Whenever Pak or SL do badly then you always see Indian fans talking about how much better their own team is than Pak/SL. I don't get why you guys can't just respect players from your neighboring countries and possibly be more humble when you're own team is failing.

  • t20cric on August 14, 2014, 20:27 GMT

    I guess for Pakistan to play close to their full potential (at least bowling) they need to believe that the game is a must-win game. Pakistan and Junaid in particular bowled brilliantly. Wahab Riaz bowled well and removed 2 of 3 men in dangerous form as well as the highest scorer of the match. His economy rate was a bit high but he ended at 66-3 (avg 22 per wicket) which is not bad. Pakistan need to take the last 2 wickets really quickly and then bat with the same attacking intent of their bowlers. If Pakistan puts on 400+ runs on the board and bowl aggressively in SL second inning then they can win. This performance in the 1st day was a perfect gift for Pakistan day but we have a habit of ending the 1st day of the test on top and then losing the advantage. I would like to see Pakistan hold on to the advantage and actually end up winning the test.

  • Greatest_Game on August 14, 2014, 20:14 GMT

    @ Sam_Liyanage. Tharanga has definitely answered his critics with a really solid comeback. If he keeps it up some hard questions should be asked. He really looks like the real deal, so why was he in the wilderness for so long? Puzzling!

  • Greatest_Game on August 14, 2014, 20:09 GMT

    @ Blade-Runner. I find that a heavy loss is always tough to accept, but in hindsight I just have to admit to myself and accept that the superior team won. There are micro factors that can be brought up within any analysis, but the overall picture remains the same: the winners won, and the losers lost!

  • Greatest_Game on August 14, 2014, 20:04 GMT

    @ rickyvoncanterbury. Oh yes - I always believe in returning the favor. I don't think that there is a team that can bat fast enough for me right now. Run rate will be something to which I am going to pay close attention in the future. After back to back carthorse track series, and the unwavering consistency of scoring rate commentary despite the positive outcomes that vindicated the strategy, I feel it only fair to offer the same level of support to other fans who were kind enough to weigh in with their observations.

  • Kavum on August 14, 2014, 19:52 GMT

    It was somehow tragic, sad and ultimately fitting that MJ was dismissed by a bowler under review. His career record has been questioned so many times - depending on the location of his competitive matches - that he should fall to a spinner with a "magical" arm. No other bowler could and should have taken the music out of his swansong. It does not matter MJ, if your average dips below 50.00 you will always live in SL hearts as a class batter and a champ. Boycott has an average of only 47+ and is revered by our neighbours for his infectiously wonderful Yorks accent. But maybe in your terms is no more than just an average team man. Hopefully your legacy will live on and on and inspire others to rise above cheap T20 money and play for self respect, country and pride.

  • SLMaster on August 14, 2014, 19:35 GMT

    Stop the negative comments. It is still the first day and SL not done yet. It is not a bad score on a difficult pitch. SA struggled with same score. Just hold onto your negative comments until they reach the third innings. SL came back to win ENG in ENG from a similar position.

  • Kotuwegogoda on August 14, 2014, 19:17 GMT

    First days play proved cricket is a funny game and can go haywire. SSC was known to give side batting first an advantage and foundation for a sizeable total. At lunch it behaved akin to past credentials. But thereafter it behaved outside the norm. Batsmen found difficult to grind in and add value to scoreboard. Net result eight wicket haul yo Pakistan in spite of those dropped catches, stumping etc etc. from day two, tone will set which direction Test match is heading. As things are a 300 plus total may sound enough to worry side batting second.

    But none would want to put the neck on the firing line as predictions would be far from reality. But the way Junaid and Riyaz troubled Srilnakan top order, whether Prasad and Welagedara could do likewise against Pakistani line up will be eagerly watched.

  • on August 14, 2014, 19:07 GMT

    The Smart Stats are GoOd..

  • on August 14, 2014, 19:02 GMT

    Terrific bowling Junaid, well disciplined line and length. Bowls to the field setting. Very well done. And what a catch Azhar Ali, and your braveness not to take the eye off even the batsman goes for a hard hit, should be much appreciated. Looks like Pakistan on top after day 1, looking forward what SL bowlers can produce, especially the paceman. A big hats off to Pakistani sportsmanship displayed with the guard of honour to Mahela. Good luck to both teams, may the best wins. SL Fan.

  • smjr on August 14, 2014, 17:35 GMT

    This is real Pakistan as they show today by playing attacking cricket. Their past glory achieved in cricket is due to this relentless attacking approach.If batting also plays their natural attacking game I am sure we will beat Sri lanka. I guarantee that Pakistan team is the most difficult team to beat in this attacking frame of mind in test cricket, perhaps South Africa may have an edge due to their fast bowling.

  • on August 14, 2014, 17:27 GMT

    When will Pakistan find a keeper who will not drop catches or miss stumpings ? Sarfraz missed a catch from Mahela and a stuping of Thrunga who then went on to score 92. Had he taken those chances , Srilanka would have been on ropes. A keeper is supposed to take these chances. I dont care if the keeper scores a hundred but what he MUST do is take these chances. Kamran used to miss alot of chances as well and now this guy is doing the same. Why cant we give Rizwan a chance. He has never been tried as they have played tag with Sarfraz and Akmals !!!

  • on August 14, 2014, 17:18 GMT

    its one good day for pak and we nver know what they come up with hope for pak to win the match and i must say rehman shld be replace by zulfiqar and taufeeq shold be replaceby khuram otherwise good ludk pakistan

  • mensan on August 14, 2014, 17:17 GMT

    @Desihungama. Abdur Rehman is the 4th bowler. How can you replace him with a batsman?

  • SLC-2020 on August 14, 2014, 17:08 GMT

    @Sam_Liyanage: You are right, Tharanga showed his class beyond any doubt. Missing 2 Hundreds marginally within the space of 7 innings against 2 of the best bowling attacks in the world, stamped his class & potential to make big scores in the Test arena as well.! It is not an easy thing to do under sever pressure (ominously threatening with the sudden recall of the tried and failed opener Dimuth) without even allowing a slightest breathing space. Especially, when making an appearance after seven year lay-off.!!

    It is nice to see some positive approach from an Opener, after Dilshan's retirement. Kaushal / Dimuth failed to make such big scores with ample opportunities since January. Upul is a sweet timer of the ball, who accumulates bulky loads of runs for SL playing long innings, at a pace that no other SL opener can equal. He has proved it by being the fastest SL to cross 1000 r & 2nd quickest to cross 5000 r in ODIs. If allowed, certainly he will achieve that in Test Cricket too...

  • Desihungama on August 14, 2014, 16:51 GMT

    Good effort by Pak bowlers. They must drop Abdul Rehman and bring in either Umar Akmal or Fawad Alam, though I prefer Fawad for series against Australia. You do not need 5 bowlers in Test Cricket. 4 bowlers are ample and Younis or Shehzad can easily fill in for the 5th bowler.

  • osteo on August 14, 2014, 16:41 GMT

    Pakistan should knock out the opponents.

  • on August 14, 2014, 16:40 GMT

    Green shirts on top . Great salute to Mahela .

  • on August 14, 2014, 16:38 GMT

    great turn around by pak,lets c how they bat.. looks flat track

  • SL_Boy on August 14, 2014, 16:08 GMT

    As long as Pak take there chances it is a different game

  • on August 14, 2014, 16:03 GMT

    well done paksitan side keep doing

  • on August 14, 2014, 15:48 GMT

    Pakistan will regain its lost status. They are one of the best nations to have played this game

  • rk_ks on August 14, 2014, 15:34 GMT

    I thought SL team is world class. They can't even score 300. Until now I was thinking India is the only over hyped team. This match clearly shows that SL is another over hyped team.

  • on August 14, 2014, 15:29 GMT

    Surely its Pakistan day but the pitch ha sent played like what was expected Aaah paks fielding once again so v below par

  • ZkAneela on August 14, 2014, 15:28 GMT

    well played PAK...I hope they finished the Lankan tail quickly and bat positively...

  • pipsonian on August 14, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    Bringing Waqar Younis back as a bowling coach is already paying dividends for Pakistan. The difference is clear in looking at how Junaid bowled here and how he bowled in Asia cup/Dubai on similar kind of pitches.

  • on August 14, 2014, 15:17 GMT

    Well played Pakistan. I wish my team has fielded better and it would have been much better results.

  • on August 14, 2014, 15:10 GMT

    Incredible catch taken by Azhar Ali. So far it is the catch of the series. It may well just turn the tide of the match.I really hope Pakistan wins this match. A word on junaid khan. What sets him apart from other Pakistani fast bowlers is his attitude. Even when bowling at 130 kph he can produce wicket taking deliveries on flat rough surfaces(note that even Vernon bowls at the same pace but is not quite that effective on lifeless tracks).I always call Junaid our fifth bowler,Imran being the first,Wasim the second,Waqar the third,and Shoiab our fourth.Yes, I do believe(though many would disagree) junaid has the ability to pick up 300-350 wickets.Quite interestingly all four of our great fast bowlers have been ones who fast and reverse swung the ball(viciously) into the right handers.But this guy is more like a Richard Hadlee or Shaun Pollock or Mcgrath. He is tailor made for bowling long spells and is just the kind of bowler that we need. I wish him the best of luck.

  • on August 14, 2014, 15:00 GMT

    Good display,Pakistan will need 150 runs lead to have chances,levelling off the series.

  • on August 14, 2014, 14:49 GMT

    Kudos to Pakitan bowlers for for creating chances on a first day wicket. Sri Lanka will have to play catch-up from this onward in this test match. Expect a good game and hope Mahela bids farewell on a winning note

  • on August 14, 2014, 14:42 GMT

    at least lahiru stayed in the crease many more time than Kanaruwan vithanage! he is good t20 batsman but really not a test batsman

  • getsetgopk on August 14, 2014, 14:38 GMT

    Mind blowing from JUNAID KHAN, superb control and movement both sides of the wicket. Working up his prey one step a time, great to see him reaping the rewards of a magnificent skill. Reverse swing on offer!!! from a Paki Pacer and used to deadly effect, hands down KHAN, YOU ARE THE MAN.

  • on August 14, 2014, 14:21 GMT

    A Great day celebrated in a good way. Happy Independence Day Pakistan :)

  • PravHP on August 14, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    Yet again indian fans talking abt SLvsInd in past..it's the present..year 2014. You lost to SL in the world t20 as well as in Asia cup. Why talk about 2010 asia cup?You were sleeping when 2014 asia cup was played? Your dominance is over forks..its PRESENT not PAST..Itz year 2014 in progress.. IndvsSL. Met thrice in 2014...2 T20s including a warm up match and 1 ODI..at Asia cup. Results. SL-3 IND-0. dominance was in last 4 years.. Wake up people.its 2014

  • on August 14, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    misbah weldone go centurie tommorow .gd captantcy today i see it

  • on August 14, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    In the current firm, test teams could be ranked as SA, AUS, SL, PAK, ENG, IND, NZ, WI, ZIM, BAN. SL and Pak have the potential to go up but, we don't have any chance with the likes of Kohli. Sigh....

  • Cric_Janbaz on August 14, 2014, 13:45 GMT

    its all been about pakistan spinners over past few years,,,it pleases to see pacers doing good job long time after amir and asif,as far as i remember,,,Pride for land of fast bowlers

  • on August 14, 2014, 13:41 GMT

    Pakistan is touch ahead of Lanka at this moment. But Lanka could bounce back at any time giving hard time to Pakistan. They would not surrender easily unlike how easily our team get surrender in Eng even within 3 days. Lanka has shown how competitive they are even against stronger sides. But we easily get humiliated even against out of form teams.

  • Armoured_cricket on August 14, 2014, 13:34 GMT

    Congrats Pakistan on a fine bowling display.

    Has anyone ever been able to provide a definitive answer as to why Pakistan's seamers are SO much more effective than neighbouring India's?? Surely genetics has nothing to do with it? Are the pitches that different? Apart from maybe Kapil Dev, India has never produced a truly great seamer. Pakistan has had at least 3 (Imran, Wasim and Waqar), with some fine talent currently on display.

  • Andrew-Silva on August 14, 2014, 13:33 GMT

    Hopefully, SLC will give Tharanga a substantial run to establish as the Test opener that we badly need. He is the SOLE investment remaining from the past, for the long-term future of SL Cricket.He has the most consistent ODI batting record in SL, being the quickest to top 1000 r & 2nd fastest to reach 5000 runs. He started his blistering ODI career with 6 x 100s & creating a World Record @ 21 Yrs, even much better than Sachin, Ponting, Lara or similar @ 21. This record stands to date! Also, 29 yr Tharanga holds the World Record for highest number of 200+ partnerships (Seven) in ODIs! Only much older/experienced Ponting has equaled it. 13 big 100s + 28 x50s were made against all formidable oppositions around the globe! Do we have any other youngster with Upul's achievements @ international level?

    Please remove the "guillotine-of-insecurity" ever hanging around his neck, since last year! Let him play his natural game with peace of mind, atleast for a reasonable time to prove his worth.!

  • afzal501 on August 14, 2014, 13:33 GMT

    I have been asking for Wahab Raiz for too long I know he can go for runs but hes got genuine pace and bounce, we kept playing Rahat Ali for too long, and you can see I know he took three and Junaid took 4 but sometime extra pace from one end can distract batsmen. Wahab can also make quick runs not like some tailenders we have.

  • mzm149 on August 14, 2014, 13:32 GMT

    @Gaurav Manchanda: How did it fell when your team capitulated to 105 and 119 in ODIs against Bangladesh and where rain saved your face.

  • TahirMahmood on August 14, 2014, 13:31 GMT

    Pakistan needs 200 runs lead to put SL under pressure, SL batsmen are playing Pak spinners very well. But Pak can hope SL batting will fail again due to Jaywardne's last inings.

  • crishde on August 14, 2014, 13:29 GMT

    Mahela is a great son of Sri Lanka. His sporting prowess, should not be looked at only from the high scores his bat brought for his side. He is a true ambassador of goodwill for mother Lanka. Those interviews after lost games when he was captaining the side brought out true gentlemanly qualities of this great sporting ambassador. With the changing times he changed to be decisive in the cricket field but remained a true gentleman to the core. That never changed. We have seen greats like Don Bradman, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Mark Waugh and Jack Kallis. Mahela too belongs to this flock. Sincere hope is that other players to follow from Sri Lanka would take a leaf out of Mahela's book in adjusting to modern demands of cricket without falling prey to many a trap waiting to gobble up players. We wish you every success in all your endeavours Mahela.....May the Blessings of the Triple Gem always protect you..

  • Mr_Mohsin on August 14, 2014, 13:11 GMT

    I was expected such comments about Sarfraz after missing half chances, as people for our big province cant digest his inclusion in team, no matter how good he is a batsman.. they still consider Kamran Akmal is the best Keeper for them because his is for this very province...

  • on August 14, 2014, 13:06 GMT

    @thalagune: How did you feel when same Bangladesh B team kept on beating SL in SL over the course of last 5 years in all formats of the game.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on August 14, 2014, 13:02 GMT

    Junaid Khan, take a bow young man, fine bowler. Great performance. Always been a fan of PAK pacers.

  • on August 14, 2014, 13:01 GMT

    @Blade-Runner: Just like Bulter struggled against Senanayake.

  • TahirMahmood on August 14, 2014, 13:00 GMT

    Pakistan is in very good position, but they need to perform well in remaining match as well. Finish the tail cheaply, then batting positively. Pakistan needs from Younis Khan, the repeat of inings He played in Gall.

  • on August 14, 2014, 12:59 GMT

    @PravHP: The same flat track bully Kohli smashed world's best bowler Malinga for 96 runs in his 7.2 overs in Australia.

  • keptalittlelow on August 14, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    Don't underestimate SL even if they lost six wickets in the last session, they are a sturdy side which will bounce back no doubt, its Pakistan which is frail in all departments.

  • on August 14, 2014, 12:56 GMT

    Wait wait guys... Still 4 days to go..we all know the quality bowling of SL..maybe pakistan would collapse worse than this...

  • on August 14, 2014, 12:56 GMT

    @thalagune: whatever is happening to India in England, the truth is that India is still better than SL, see their last 5 years face-to-face record. SL can't beat INDIA even on SL soil. India won all of the last 4 ODI series between India and SL on SL turf plus tri-nation series involving Ind, SL & NZ and ALSO Asia cup 2010.

  • VikumHerath on August 14, 2014, 12:56 GMT

    @Sam_Liyanage : I completely agree with your comments.

    One correction to your post: "Reconsidered for Test Cricket after Seven years, Tharanga has already showed his potential with TWO blazing innings (92 & 84) IN JUST 7 (SEVEN) INNINGS (not 10 innings), It is worthwhile pointing out, NONE of the other OPENERS, Kaushal Silva/ Dimuth Karunarathne have managed such scores since January this year, appearing in many more innings than Upul Tharanga.!!!against world's best pace & spin of SA & Pak."

    Tharanga' s inclusion in Tests is the best thing happened to SL Cricket in the recent past. Surely. it is up-to the SLC, to make use of the only valuable investment remaining from the past to carry-forward to the future!

  • on August 14, 2014, 12:55 GMT

    Mahela is no doubt, a class act. Sumptuous cover drives coupled with powerful pull shots present a real treat for cricket lovers. Appreciation from Pakistan !!

  • on August 14, 2014, 12:54 GMT

    weldone team green same bowling struggle in recent match against lankan battung but the difference is lankan is not lucky dis time.good luck for match we are accepting draw the serious....

  • shahnoor-haque on August 14, 2014, 12:42 GMT

    Good day for pakistan but what rehman is doing in this team after miserable performance in Galle?,

  • on August 14, 2014, 12:40 GMT

    If Shan Masood not feeling well, umer akmal could play at no. 5 while azhar opening instead of Khurram Manzoor who is a C class player. Well, Pakistan need to take lead of at least 70 odd runs and take the wicket of Sangaaaaa, if they want to jave any kind of a chance. Inspite of a rare Lankan failure match is still hanging in balance keeping in view Pakistani batting patterns in test cricket. Anyway thumbs up to Pakistan because all the gurus predicted 500 plus Lankan runs in first innings.

  • alipk52 on August 14, 2014, 12:34 GMT

    This is a top bowling effort indeed from a bowling side with only 2 pacers, Junaid always prove he's great pacer in absence of Aamir and Irfan, would really love to see all of these 3 bowl together in Australia on World cup, Wahab Riaz is good but he delivers massive number of boundary balls alongside rippers, he need Wasim Akram's guidelines, That's for sure. Apart from that, I would want the bowlers to come out tomorrow with their tails up, as we have the issues with taking the tailenders out quickly, it's always fun to watch fast bowlers (any country) firing it up and keep myself at the edge of my seat, with their seam and swing!

  • on August 14, 2014, 12:31 GMT

    Despite Mahela retiring, SL looks to be very strong at the moment

  • yohandf on August 14, 2014, 12:22 GMT

    Poor day for SL to say the least . Perhaps they have got too concerned of Mahela s farewell . But credits to Pakistan fast bowlers who got the game of its neck . Openers did the job but lower middle order is simply pathetic . Lets see how this game will come up tomorrow . SL desperately need at least to get 300

  • thalagune on August 14, 2014, 12:18 GMT

    @Rajesh India_1990...before thinking about what will happen to our team after mahela/sanga retire dont you realise that your indian team already looks worse than the bangaladesh B team out there in England..@Tommy sucker...last time SL lost the toss and won the match so dont say match is decided by the toss all the time...

  • SLFan-2200 on August 14, 2014, 12:14 GMT

    With all the negative remarks in this article shading the progressively visible positive side of Thararanga's batting, glazed with blazing cover drives, straight drives, cuts & glances picked at will, intercepting fielders (14 BOUNDARIES) was the best opener's inning that we saw since Dilshan retired from Test Cricket!

    Reconsidered for Test Cricket after Seven years, Tharanga has already showed his potential with TWO blazing innings (92 & 84) in just 10 innings, against world's best pace & spin of SA & Pak.

    It is worthwhile pointing out, NONE of the other OPENERS, Kaushal Silva/ Dimuth Karunarathne have managed such scores since January this year, appearing in many more innings than Upul Tharanga.!!! After all, Tharanga is the only youngster among openers in SL, with a proven solid track record at international level (in ODIs). He has been a match winning player in ODIs. If given a long stay in the squad, he will sure to be a match winner in TESTS as well. It is up-to the SLC.!

  • mzm149 on August 14, 2014, 12:07 GMT

    Junaid Khan bowled beautifully. He could easily have got a couple more had the keeper been anywhere near decent. Inclusion of Wahab Riaz made the difference. Thankfully Talha was dropped. There are a few free riders still in the team like Khurram Manzoor and Sarfraz but otherwise it's a good combination.

  • on August 14, 2014, 12:07 GMT

    good effort. good day for pakistan. bowled better and earned the wickets. openers and matews played superbly. junaid bowled well. wahab is a bit inconsistent but bowled well in between with good pace. ajmal was ok as well. issue for pakistan is that rehman is totally off color and looks like it is over for him. sarfraz missed couple of tough chances. he should make sure that his keeping must be ok along with decent batting . pak will have to take remaining 2 wickets as soon as possible and then bat sensibly if they want a result. they will bat last on this so have to count for that.

  • SLFan-2200 on August 14, 2014, 12:02 GMT

    With all the negative remarks in this article shading the progressively visible positive side of Thararanga's batting, glazed with blazing cover drives, straight drives, cuts & glances picked at will, intercepting fielders (14 BOUNDARIES) was the best opener's inning that we saw since Dilshan retired from Test Cricket!

    Reconsidered for Test Cricket after Seven years, Tharanga has already showed his potential with TWO blazing innings (92 & 84) in just 10 innings, against world's best pace & spin of SA & Pak.

    It is worthwhile pointing out, NONE of the other OPENERS, Kaushal Silva/ Dimuth Karunarathne have managed such scores since January this year, appearing in many more innings than Upul Tharanga.!!! After all, Tharanga is the only youngster among openers in SL, with a proven solid track record at international level (in ODIs). He has been a match winning player in ODIs. If given a long stay in the squad, he will sure to be a match winner in TESTS as well. It is up-to the SLC.!

  • Nuwas on August 14, 2014, 12:00 GMT

    well answered my friend Blade-Runner.

  • Rajesh_india_1990 on August 14, 2014, 11:59 GMT

    @pravHP srilanka still have to win a test match in India and australia..thats a marvellous achievement by the lions

  • rickyvoncanterbury on August 14, 2014, 11:54 GMT

    HAHAHA Indians and Saffers having a go at the Sri Lankans.... the Indians have a team that is embarrassing, and the Saffers were very 'SENSITIVE" when other teams supporters were commenting during the Zimbabwe test but come out of the woodwork to put the boot in, hahahaha.

  • Blade-Runner on August 14, 2014, 11:50 GMT

    @Sahil Kazimi ; It didn't go between bat and pad cleanly. It was bat-pad-stumps.

  • on August 14, 2014, 11:45 GMT

    @rajesh_india looks like you know your cricket. SL is the team to beat in the test circuit now. Can't say the same of the Indian team...they get beaten by oit of form team as England also.

  • PravHP on August 14, 2014, 11:35 GMT

    @Rajesh_india_1990 why don't you go and worry about ur india team who equaled the record for the highest number of ducks and flat track bully kohli who couldn't score a single 50 in 8 innings. It's better to go and worry about ur team at PRESENT than talking abt the FUTURE of our team. 6 ducks..in 1 inning thats bangladesh B for you.

  • on August 14, 2014, 11:11 GMT

    Thirimanne is a curse to the team and the young cricketers. I think something wrong with the selectors. Have these selectors don't have the knowledge of a spectator. Everybody knows thiri is not in form. Send him to SL A team. Get a good player to the no. 5 position. How could you justify thiri's selection.

  • Rajesh_india_1990 on August 14, 2014, 11:06 GMT

    @TommytuckerSaffa After they retire it will look like Bangladesh B team.......@blade-runner so angelo davis mathews with an average of 52.00 will bat for 5 days, will take all 20 wickets and ofcourse without no fieldsmen right?

  • on August 14, 2014, 10:20 GMT

    Wow I didn't think that pakistan would pick up any wickets today . Now they have picked up four . All they have to do is trick Sri Lanka by bowling at a different length every ball and change bowlers fast.they also have to perform with the bat. Every player should play good The team should not depend on 1 player e.g younis or Misbah

  • on August 14, 2014, 10:10 GMT

    Sanga chopped on a delivery? he was beautifully set up by wahab nd inswinger went through bat and pad.

  • Blade-Runner on August 14, 2014, 9:25 GMT

    @ Greatest_Game ; Sri Lankans didn't struggle against the SA pacers. They just struggled against the Philander Factor, if you know what I mean... (y)

  • on August 14, 2014, 9:14 GMT

    Pakistan team is struggling. Needs some big changes.

  • Blade-Runner on August 14, 2014, 8:57 GMT

    @TommytuckerSaffa ; There is someone named Angelo Davis Mathews who is averaging 52.00+ and sitting pretty on the 5th place of ICC rankings.

  • Greatest_Game on August 14, 2014, 8:49 GMT

    Sri Lankan batsmen struggling against pace - just like they did against SA. Does not look good for SL!

  • on August 14, 2014, 8:44 GMT

    I think its over for rehman. Some how he has lost his touch since that 0/8 . Wahab is not consistent but bowling good in between at good pace. No luck for sanga to day. And now the man of moment , a legend is on crease.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on August 14, 2014, 8:41 GMT

    Whats this Sri Lankan team going to look like in 3 years time when there is no Sanga, Mehala and Herath??

    Silva leading the charge?!

  • VinodGupte on August 14, 2014, 8:29 GMT

    Pakistan can't bat even on this Highway. Sri lanka will score nearly 600 and restrict Pakistan to the match total of 450. Huge defeat for Pakistan here.

  • on August 14, 2014, 8:11 GMT

    talha is injured tats why he is not playing and shan maqsood was sick too tats why he is not playing so calm down guys

  • on August 14, 2014, 6:14 GMT

    well balanced team from sri lanken side.its looking very strong.

  • Black_Rider on August 14, 2014, 5:58 GMT

    @TommytuckerSaffa :: There is a fun fact. Last match was won by Sri Lanka after losing the toss mate....

  • on August 14, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    khurram should have been replaced. he is useless. nothing in wicket so a long day for bolwers.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on August 14, 2014, 5:38 GMT

    Pakistan have lost the toss again. When your in Sri Lanka, the toss determines the outcome of the match. 2-0 to Sri Lanka.

  • on August 14, 2014, 5:34 GMT

    Test match is Supposed to be a test of both batsman and bowlers NOT only the bowlers

  • on August 14, 2014, 5:30 GMT

    The worst captain in the history of cricket is MISBAH. His team lost match because of bad batting and he drops muhammad talha for that in the next match. Muhammad talha has not bowled badly in first match on a batting pitch.

  • Resultpredictor on August 14, 2014, 5:12 GMT

    Pakistan bowlers will struggle today, Ajmal will bowl long wicket less spells. By the end of day Sanga and Mahela will score centuries and Pak bowlers cannot pick more than 2 wickets today. SL dominance over Pakistan continues.

  • on August 14, 2014, 5:08 GMT

    a bad team selection

  • on August 14, 2014, 4:43 GMT

    Where is Umar Akmal ? He should have been in playing XI.

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  • on August 14, 2014, 4:43 GMT

    Where is Umar Akmal ? He should have been in playing XI.

  • on August 14, 2014, 5:08 GMT

    a bad team selection

  • Resultpredictor on August 14, 2014, 5:12 GMT

    Pakistan bowlers will struggle today, Ajmal will bowl long wicket less spells. By the end of day Sanga and Mahela will score centuries and Pak bowlers cannot pick more than 2 wickets today. SL dominance over Pakistan continues.

  • on August 14, 2014, 5:30 GMT

    The worst captain in the history of cricket is MISBAH. His team lost match because of bad batting and he drops muhammad talha for that in the next match. Muhammad talha has not bowled badly in first match on a batting pitch.

  • on August 14, 2014, 5:34 GMT

    Test match is Supposed to be a test of both batsman and bowlers NOT only the bowlers

  • TommytuckerSaffa on August 14, 2014, 5:38 GMT

    Pakistan have lost the toss again. When your in Sri Lanka, the toss determines the outcome of the match. 2-0 to Sri Lanka.

  • on August 14, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    khurram should have been replaced. he is useless. nothing in wicket so a long day for bolwers.

  • Black_Rider on August 14, 2014, 5:58 GMT

    @TommytuckerSaffa :: There is a fun fact. Last match was won by Sri Lanka after losing the toss mate....

  • on August 14, 2014, 6:14 GMT

    well balanced team from sri lanken side.its looking very strong.

  • on August 14, 2014, 8:11 GMT

    talha is injured tats why he is not playing and shan maqsood was sick too tats why he is not playing so calm down guys