Pakistan in a position of strength
Kaneira and Ajmal spin Lanka out for 233 :
Why was leg spinning, googly bowler Danesh Kaneira kept under wraps
in the first Two Tests and then unleashed in the Final Test? This is a
pertinent question to ask the Pakistani selectors after Kaneira spun a
web around the Sri Lankan batsmen to finish with 5 for 62, his 13th five
wicket haul in Tests.
At the end of play on he second day in the final Test at the SSC
Pakistan who gained a lead of 66 dismissing Sri Lanka for 233 had
increased it to 82 scoring 16 for the loss of opener Khurram Mansoor’s
wicket for 2 in their second innings. At the wickets were Alsm on 14 and
Khan no score.
There was no excuse for the Sri Lankans to be all out in just 68.3
overs. The batsmen just could not read both off spinner Saeed Ajmal and
Kaneira and sacrified their wickets. Kaneira pitched on a good line and
length and mixed his repertoire of deliveries and his 5 wicket haul was
reward for his hard work. He was well supported by Ajmal who bowled
tirelessly to return the figures of 3 for 70.
Only Mahela Jayawardena played with any real purpose to make a top
score of 79 with 10 fours. It was his 33rd Test fifty.
When play begins on the third day the Lankans must bundle out the
Pakistanis for a chaseable target. Not to do so could find themselves
striking last on a wicket taking spin and Ajmal and Kaneira could have
them in a flat spin and facing the ignominy of a defeat for the first
time in the series.
Before play began in the morning, Brian Thomas, the media manager,
Sri Lanka Cricket, informed the media that stop-gap wicket keeper
Tillakaratne Dilshan had injured his finger taking the catch of opener
Alam and would not don gloves again.
He could not bat in his usual position but came in number eight. He
had fractured his index finger but did not show any discomfort when
stroking. Sangakkara donned wicket keeping. He suffered a cut above his
eye and had to be sutured.. Why Dilshan had to continue keeping and
aggravate the injury is inexplicable.
Collapsible Pakistan. That’s how best they can be described after
another batting collapse in this Test. After being nicely placed on 203
for 2 at one stage, they lost 5 wickets for 86 to end the first day on
289 for 7.
Then on the morning of the second day, they lost three wickets for 10
– that of Danesh Kaneira for 1, Kamran Akmal also for one and Saeed
Ajmal for 8 to be all out for 299. Losing 3 for 10 in the morning. In
all the Pakistanis had lost 8 for 96. For a Test team this inexcusable
and unacceptable. When will they ever learn!
They collapsed in Galle in the First Test, collapsed at the P. Sara
Oval in the Second Test and here again at the SSC.
How they will go in the second innings will be interesting to watch.
Thilina Thusara Mirando bowled Akmal and Saeed Ajmal and Nuwan
Kulasekera had Danesh Kaneira LBW. Thilina Thushara finished with
figures of five wickets for 83 - his first five wicket haul in Tests.
Kulasekera 3 for 47 the only bowlers used in the morning. The Pakistan
innings ended in 89.4 overs in 404 minutes.
When the Sri Lankans began their reply, poor technique by openers
Malinda Warnapura and Tharanga Paravitharne saw them lose the first
wicket that of Warnapura in the first ball bowled by Umar Gul for nought
hitting across the line and then Paravitharne did not read the line,
shouldered arms and had his off stump knocked back by Younus Khan for 5
with the score on 23. Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena began a
revival, but with the score on 63 and his personal score 45 and lunch
approaching, Sangakkara played across the line and was adjudged LBW to
off spinner Ajmal.
The shot was unnecessary because he was going well. He was given
lives on 16 and 40. He played some exquisite cover and straight drives
and hit 7 fours. Sri Lanka took lunch at 63 for 3 with Jayawardena
unbeaten on 20.
After lunch two wickets fell that of Thilan Samarweera bowled by a
vicious off break from Ajmal that kept low for 6 with the score on 82
and then Angelo Matthews went caught in slips by Misbah Ul-Haq for 31
off Kaneira at 153 after adding 71 for the fifth wicket with Jayawardena.
He hit hard and played some lovely back foot shots.
At tea Sri Lanka were 164 for 5.
After tea they lost Chaminda Vaas LBW to Kaneira for 4 at 171 and
three runs later Jayawardena went bowled by a top spinner from Kaneira
for 79 with 10 fours. At 181 Kulasekera went plodding forward to Ajmal
to be caught at first slip by Misbah for 2.
Rangana Herath went LBW to Kaneira for 7 at 204 and the last pair of
Dilshan and Mirando added an invaluable 29 runs for the last wicket.
Dilshan was last out caught behind by Akmal for 44 with 2 sixes and 2
PAKISTAN 1ST INNINGS (overnight 289-7):
Khurram Manzoor c Jayawardene b Vaas 93
Fawad Alam c Dilshan b Thushara 16
Younus Khan b Thushara 2
Mohammad Yousuf run out 90
Misbah-ul Haq c Dilshan b Kulasekera 27
Shoaib Malik lbw b Thushara 45
Kamran Akmal b Thushara 1
Umar Gul b Kulasekera 2
Danish Kaneria lbw b Kulasekera 1
Mohammad Aamer not out 2
Saeed Ajmal b Thushara 8
Extras: (b10, nb2) 12
Total (all out, 89.4 overs) 299
Fall of wickets: 1-34 (Alam), 2-36 (Younus), 3-203 (Manzoor), 4-210
(Yousuf), 5-285 (Malik), 6-285 (Misbah), 7-287 (Gul), 8-289 (Kaneria),
9-289 (Akmal), 10-299 (Ajmal).
Bowling: Vaas 20-6-43-1,
Thushara 20.4-2-83-5 (nb2),
SRI LANKA 1ST INNINGS:
M. Warnapura b Gul 0
T. Paranavitana b Younus 5
K. Sangakkara lbw b Ajmal 45
M. Jayawardene b Kaneria 79
T. Samaraweera b Ajmal 6
A. Mathews c Misbah b Kaneria 31
C. Vaas lbw b Kaneria 4
T. Dilshan c Akmal b Kaneria 44
N. Kulasekera c Misbah b Ajmal 1
R. Herath lbw b Kaneria 7
T. Thushara not out 5
Extras: (lb2, nb4) 6
Total (all out, 68.3 overs) 233
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Warnapura), 2-23 (Paranavitana), 3-63 (Sangakkara),
4-82 (Samaraweera), 5-153 (Mathews), 6-171 (Vaas), 7-174 (Jayawardene),
8-181 (Kulasekera), 9-204 (Herath), 10-233 (Dilshan).
Bowling: Gul 10-0-55-1 (nb4),
PAKISTAN 2ND INNINGS:
Khurram Manzoor b Herath 2
Fawad Alam not out 14
Younus Khan not out 0
Total (for 1 wkt, nine overs) 16
Fall of wicket: 1-16 (Manzoor)
Bowling: Kulasekera 4-2-4-0,
Pakistan lead by 82 runs with nine wickets in hand