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Sri Lanka inch closer to win over Pakistan in 1st Test

Suranga Lakmal put Sri Lanka in a commanding position © Getty Images
Suranga Lakmal career best in four for 78 Sri Lanka in a commanding position © Getty Images (File Photo)

Dubai: Jan 12, 2014

Sri Lanka reached 35 for no loss at lunch as they chased Pakistan‘s meagre target of 137 on the fifth and final day of the second Test in Dubai on Sunday.

Sri Lanka have 64 overs including a minimum of 15 in the final hour to score 102 more runs and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, after the first Test ended in a draw in Abu Dhabi last week.

But the weather in Dubai was cloudy and rain was forecast for later Sunday.

At the break openers Dimuth Karunaratne (18) and Kaushal Silva (14) were at the crease.

Pakistan’s lowest defended target was 127 achieved against New Zealand at Hamilton in 1993, when they dismissed their opponents for 93.

In a surprise move Pakistan opened the bowling with off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez but they failed to take any wickets.

Earlier, Sri Lankan paceman Suranga Lakmal finished with a career best four 78 as Pakistan lost their last three wickets for 29 runs to be bowled out for 359.

Lakmal removed Sarfraz Ahmed in the fourth over of the day, bringing one in sharply to beat the Pakistani’s forward defensive push and hit the off-stump. Sarfraz scored 74, batting for 211 minutes and hitting seven boundaries in a fighting innings that took the game to the final day.

Lakmal then had Rahat Ali caught behind for eight, for Prasanna Jayawardene’s ninth catch in the match. Prasanna equalled Sri Lanka’s record of nine catches by a wicketkeeper in a match set twice in successive Tests by Amal Silva against India at home in 1985.

Lakmal bowled Saeed Ajmal (21) to end Pakistan’s second innings. Lakmal’s previous best was three for 55 against Australia at Galle in 2011.

Nuwan Pradeep, Shaminda Eranga and Rangana Herath took two wickets apiece.

The third and final Test starts in Sharjah on Thursday.

Brief scores:

Pakistan 165 (Khurram Manzoor 73; Nuwan Pradeep 3 for 62, Rangana Herath 3 for 26) and 359 (Younis Khan 77, Misbah-ul-Haq 97; Suranga Lakmal 4 for 78, Nuwan Pradeep 2 for 50) lead Sri Lanka 388 ( Kaushal Silva 95, Mahela Jayawardene 129, Angelo Mathews 42; Junaid Khan 3 for 102) and 35 for no loss (Dimuth Karunaratne 18*, Kaushal Silva 14*) 102 runs.

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