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Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Wasim and Younis add to Sri Lankas agony

With a lead of 160 runs, Pakistan was in the driving seat when it resumed the innings at the score of 341 for 5. They were determined to carry on with the innings to build up a +challenging lead but one could not imagine the level they ultimately achieved. The heroic innings by Younis Khan and Wasim Akram led them to a mammoth total of 600 runs, providing Sri Lanka, a sky high target of 420 runs to win in two days and 25 overs. It was Pakistan's day of fantastic cricket.

Younis Khan and Abdur Razzaq started with full confidence of staying at the crease and piling up runs. With an impressive lead at the back, they were scoring a four in almost every over. In 129 overs, the pair hoisted Pakistan's 400 on the board. By lunch, the score rose to 427 with Younis Khan (72) and Razzaq (35) holding the crease.

The bowlers not making much of an impact, the batsmen were almost dictating terms. Sri Lanka, however, achieved the important break through when Abdur Razzaq was bowled by Muralitharan after scoring an invaluable 48. Pakistan lost the 6th wicket at 446.

Wasim Akram was again promoted in the batting order, rightly to enhance the pace of scoring. Comprising of a stream of fours and sixes, the partnership between Younis Khan and Wasim Akram created unprecedented excitement among the crowed. They punished the bowlers so severely and consistently that even the master spinner like Muralitharan was reduced to ashes. On one occasion Wasim Akram hit him for a fabulous six and four, his over conceding 13 runs. By smashing Herath to the square leg boundary, Younis Khan hoisted his second ton in test cricket. The first one, he scored in his debut test at Rawalpindi, also against Sri Lanka.

Having piled up a fabulous total of 500 runs and Younis Khan's century on the board, the players were now at liberty to embark on the path of adventurism. There came a spate of fours and sixes, especially from the bat of Wasim Akram.

Contrary to expectations, Pakistan did not declare the innings closed, to provide the batsmen at the crease the chance to score their highest. To pile up runs quickly, they adopted the policy of "hit out or get out." As a result Younis Khan was caught at the boundary line after playing an excellent innings of 116 runs. Pakistan was now 556 for 7. With Wasim Akram also heading for a century, the time was not ripe for a declaration.

Continuing with his repeated shots to the boundary, Wasim Akram completed his superb century with a cheeky single. He accomplished the magnificent task of scoring a 100 in 87 balls, with the help of 6 huge sixers and 8 fours. Just as Pakistan lost its 8th wicket at a score of 600, skipper Moin Khan batting at the other end declared the innings closed.

With a lead of 419, Pakistan left Sri Lanka with a target of 420 runs to win in 2 days and 25 overs.

Sri Lanka 2nd innings

Sri Lanka opened the innings apparently not looking under pressure. The two batsmen Jayasuriya and Atapattu kept scoring at the normal pace. They, however, lost their 1st wicket at 33 when Jayasuriya was out after scoring 21 runs.

At the close of play Sri Lanka was 45 for 1 with Atapattu (17) and Russel Arnold (4) holding the crease.

The magnificent centuries by Younis Khan and Wasim Akram and above every thing a colossal score of 600 for 8 by Pakistan were the highlights of the day's play.