Mahela Jayawardene © AFP
Mahela Jayawardene © AFP

Aug 18, 2014

The Sri Lankan bowlers ripped through the Pakistan top-order in a terrific display of bowling which excelled in both the spin and pace departments that left the tourists reeling at 127 for seven after 40 overs. Pakistan need another 144 runs to win to level the series and their hopes are pinned on the last experienced batsman in the form of Sarfraz Ahmed at the crease.

The day began on an excited note as Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara stepped out to bat. The veterans were expected to put up another century partnership, something which they have achieved eighteen times in the past. The SSC was decked in marooon and red, official colours of Nalanda College, Jayawardene’s alma mater. The fans were also praying for a century from Jayawardene to make the dashing batsman’s farewell a memorable one. Both milestones were achieved as the century partnership was brought up in no time and Jayawardene brought up his 50th half-century with a boundary off Ajmal.

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The Pakistani bowlers however did not take long to strike back. Saeed Ajmal managed to end the century partnership in the fourth over of the day itself by dismissing Sangakkara, and then sent Jayawardene to join him two overs later. Jayawardene tried to slog Ajmal over mid-on, but ended up misfiring it by sending the ball high in the air and allowing Ahmed Shehzad a tumbling catch at mid-wicket. His final walk back to the pavilion in Test cricket was an emotional one as the entire stadium was on its feet and applauded him for his well-paced innings as well for his contribution to international cricket.

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