Set a target of 510 with two days to go for an improbable win in the first Test against Sri Lanka, Pakistan lost three top-order wickets, with the score reading a mere 36 at stumps on Sunday.
Day three witnessed the fall of 13 batsmen, as Pakistan’s first innings ended at 100, in response to Sri Lanka’s 472 in the first dig.
Sri Lanka decided not to enforce the follow on, inexplicably, and tried to make some quick runs. That idea worked till Tillakaratne Dilshan (56) remained at the crease. Sri Lanka eventually declared at 137 for five from 41 overs. That left Pakistan 15 overs to play out for the day.
Stand-in captain Mohammed Hafeez (4) was the first to go, driving extravagantly with no feet movement to a delivery from Nuwan Kulasekara that pitched outside the off stump, but held its line. Mahela Jayawerdene took a low catch.
The next to go was Azhar Ali (7), stretching to smother the spin off a good-length delivery from Herath that turned from middle and leg, and ended up edging to Thilan Samaraweera.
Perhaps, the best ball of the day was from Kulasekara. He found the gap between the fluent Taufeeq Umar’s bat and pad with an in-swinger. Earlier, Sri Lanka’s quest for quick runs began well with Dilshan and Tharanga Paranavitana (25) taking the attack to the opposition.
The pair put on 81 for the first wicket before Paranavitana was trapped in front by Ajmal.
Sri Lanka — 1st innings: 472.
Pakistan — 1st innings: M. Hafeez lbw b Randiv 20, T. Umar lbw b Kulasekara 9, A. Ali c P. Jayawardene b Kulasekara 0, Younis lbw b Herath 29, S. Ajmal c Paranavitana b Randiv 0, A. Shafiq c P. Jayawardene b Herath 0, M. Ayub lbw b Herath 25, A. Akmal (run out) 9, A. Rehman lbw b Randiv 1, U. Gul c P. Jayawardene b Randiv 2, Junaid (not out) 2, Extras (lb-2, w-1) 3; Total (in 54.3 overs) 100.
Fall of wickets: 1-17, 2-17, 3-43, 4-43, 5-44, 6-65, 7-88, 8-94, 9-98.
Sri Lanka bowling: Kulasekara 13-7-27-2, Pradeep 9-2-28-0, Herath 21-6-30-3, Mathews 2-2-0-0, Randiv 9.3-1-13-4.
Sri Lanka — 2nd innings: T. Paranavitana lbw b Ajmal 25, T. Dilshan lbw b Junaid 56, K. Sangakkara c Umar b Ajmal 1, M. Jayawardene c Akmal b Junaid 14, T. Samaraweera c Younis b Junaid 15, A. Mathews (not out) 7, P. Jayawardene (not out) 9, Extras (b-6, lb-2, nb-2) 10; Total (for five wkts. decl. in 41 overs) 137.
Fall of wickets: 1-81, 2-85, 3-93, 4-114, 5-119.
Pakistan bowling: Gul 4-0-11-0, Junaid 13-2-44-3, Rehman 5-0-25-0, Ajmal 17-3-47-2, Younis 2-0-2-0.
Pakistan — 2nd innings: M. Hafeez c M. Jayawardene b Kulasekara 4, T. Umar b Kulasekara 10, A. Ali c Samaraweera b Herath 7, Younis (batting) 0, S. Ajmal (batting) 11, Extras (b-4) 4; Total (for three wkts. in 15 overs) 36.
Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-21, 3-25.
Sri Lanka bowling: Kulasekara 7-2-13-2, Pradeep 5-2-18-0, Herath 3-2-1-1.
Keywords: Pakistan's tour of Sri Lanka