Cricket Article

Pakistan fightback to gain lead over Sri Lanka

Pakistan staged a remarkable comeback into the game against Sri Lanka at the P.Sara stadium after having been sent packing for 90 all out on the first day of the game. By the close of play, Fawad Alam’s unbeaten century had meant that Sri Lanka’s lead had been wiped out for the loss of only one wicket, and with three days remaining in the test match, it looks evident that there will be a result in the game.

Earlier, Sri Lanka resumed at their overnight total of 164/3 in reply to Pakistan’s 90 all out and looked to snatch a big lead, or better still try and bat the tourists out of the game and the series. Instead, Saeed Ajmal and Umar Gul combined to skittle through the rest of the seven Sri Lankan batsmen for the addition of 76 runs only. Century on debut!>

It was all started by a direct throw from Mohammad Aamer which hit the stumps and had Thilan Samaraweera out of the crease for 21. Kumar Sangakkara, who had been the Sri Lankan backbone, was then done in by an in-swinger bowled by Gul and proved to be late on the shot to be bowled for 87. T.Dilshan hit a couple of lusty boundaries in his 20, and was unlucky to be given out caught when only his bat had the ground and not the ball.

With the top order gone, the Sri Lankan tail failed to repeat the magic of the previous game, as they capitulated to the spin-pace combo for 240.

Even then, the Lankans had a healthy lead of 150, but the pitch seemed to have flattened out considerably. Surely enough, the Pakistani openers played cautiously and there were no demons in the wicket as the first wicket added 85. Khurram Manzoor scored 38 before he was caught behind off a cut shot attempted off Rangan Herath, but debutant Fawad Alam went on to score his first century on test debut.

Captain Younus Khan was giving him company on 35 when the play was called for stumps, and Pakistan was at 178/1, a lead of 28 runs.

The match is now back on even keel, and the first couple of sessions tomorrow could decide which way is the game headed.

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