Friday, 28 October 2011

Sri Lanka skittled in Dubai

Gul and Ajmal do the damage as Sri Lanka slump to 239 all out

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 Sri Lanka failed to make the most of ideal batting conditions as Pakistan's bowlers enjoyed another dominant day by dismissing their opponents on day one of the second Test in Dubai.
Seamer Umar Gul (3-78) blew the top order away with an impressive new ball burst and Saeed Ajmal (3-45) left the tail-enders spinning as Sri Lanka were dismissed for 239 after winning the toss.
Sri Lanka's plight would have been much worse had it not been for a spirited 75-run wicket partnership for the ninth wicket between Chanaka Welegedara (48) and Rangana Herath (29), however the tourists were still skittled in 79 overs.
That left Pakistan opening duo Mohammad Hafeez and Taufeeq Umar a tricky nine-over spell to negotiate before the close, a job did they did without alarm, adding 42 runs in the process.


After the first Test ended in stalemate in Abu Dhabi, Sri Lanka gained an early advantage when captain Tillakaratne Dilshan called correctly at the toss and opted to make first use of a flat track at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
But Gul, bowling accurately with a hint of assistance off the pitch, produced a superb opening burst to leave Sri Lanka struggling at 78-5 heading into lunch.
First, the right-arm paceman angled one back into Lahiru Thirimanne (one) to win an lbw verdict and then had Tharanga Paranavitana (six) caught at slip after a loose shot.
When a fine outswinger drew Mahela Jayawardene into an edge which gave skipper Misbah-ul-Haq his second catch at slip, Sri Lanka were 30-3.
And Misbah was soon in the action again as Sri Lanka captain Dilshan flashed loosely at a short ball from Junaid Khan to leave his side 45-4.
Kumar Sangakkara, who scored a match-saving 211 in the first Test, had watched the chaos unfold and finally received a semblance of support from Angelo Mathews in a stand of 28 for the fifth wicket.
But the all-rounder became Junaid's second victim in the final over before lunch after edging to keeper Adnan Ahmed.
With Prasanna Jayawardene, whose second-innings 120 also played a vital role in saving a draw in Abu Dhabi, absent with a groin injury, it was left to Test debutant Kaushal Silva to help Sangakkara rebuild in a partnership of 54 either side of tea.
Sangakkara reached his half-century by pulling Gul for his eighth boundary, and swiftly added a ninth.
But, after Gul and Junaid's heroics in the morning session, it was the turn of spinners Abdur Rehman and Ajmal to step up. The former dismissed Silva for 20, trapped leg before after missing a sweep.
Dhammika Prasad showed patience and responsibility but departed for seven when Ajmal trimmed his outside edge and Akmal took the catch.
And worse was to follow from the next ball as Sangakkara lofted the first delivery of Rehman's over down Asad Shafiq's throat at long-on to end a classy innings of 78, from 122 balls and featuring 11 fours.
Herath and Welegedara negotiated the nine overs until tea - thanks largely to a dropped catch by Younis Khan with the former on nought - and took calculated risks thereafter as Sri Lanka passed 200.
The partnership was worth 75 when Herath edged Ajmal to slip and Younis made amends with a comfortable catch.
Rehman appeared to have wrapped things up in the next over when, after being heaved for six by Welegedara, he had Suranga Lakmal caught by Azhar Ali at silly point, but the bowler had overstepped.
Welegedara, whose previous Test best was 11, was on 48 when Lakmal was reprieved, but he spurned the opportunity for a maiden international half-century when he was stumped off the bowling of Ajmal without adding another run.
It meant Sri Lanka had recovered from 73-5 and 154-8 to post a total of 239, with a short session remaining to bowl at the Pakistan openers.
But Hafeez (18 not out) and Taufeeq (20no) showed the way to bat in the short spell before stumps, both men finding the rope on three occasions to leave Pakistan in control heading into day two.

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