Also on cricketcountry.com
Jan 12, 2014
Sri Lanka sealed an emphatic victory against Pakistan in the second Test of the three-match series by 9 wickets at the Dubai International Stadium. Chasing 137 in the fourth innings, the Sri Lankan openers made little fuss of the target as they cruised to a win in 40.3 overs, in front of a near-empty stadium.
Resuming at 35 for no loss in the post-lunch session, both the Lankan openers — Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva brought up their half centuries, as none of the Pakistani bowlers were able to cause any sort of trouble. Kaushal Silva lost his wicket for a well-made 58 to Saeed Ajmal, when the Lankans required just 13 more.
Pakistan’s dismal show with the bat in the first innings — 165 all out in the first day, was always going to make it difficult for them to come back into the match. Sri Lanka then gained a massive 200 plus first innings lead, riding on a classy Mahela Jayawardene hundred (129) and a crafted 95 from opener Silva.
Coming in to bat for the second time in the match, Pakistani batsmen put up a considerably better show, as their middle order pushed their total to 359, thanks to half centuries from Younis Khan and wicketkeeper, Sarfraz Ahmed and a captain’s knock of 97 from Misbah-ul-Haq. But at the end of the day, on a rather easy-paced track, a target of 137 was never going to bother the Sri Lankan batsmen.
After a dismal show in the first Test, Sri Lanka’s bowling attack will be mightily pleased with themselves, especially with their performance in the first innings. The return of Nuwan Pradeep provided the much needed stability to their attack, which was found missing in the earlier match. Their batting too looked much more compact in the second Test. With opener Silva getting fifties in both the innings, and decent contributions from the middle-order, Sri Lanka didn’t let any room for probe to Pakistani bowlers.
Pakistan will be hoping they can shift gears, and churn out a contrasting performance in the third and final Test of the series, starting from January 16. On the other hand, Sri Lanka will be telling themselves to do more of the same and seal the series by winning the third Test.
Pakistan 165 and 359 (Misbah-ul-Haq 97, Younis Khan 77; Suranga Lakmal 4 for 78, Nuwan Pradeep 2 for 50) lost to Sri Lanka 388 and 137 for 1 (Dimuth Karunaratne 62*, Kaushal Silva 58; Saeed Ajmal 1 for 45) by 9 wickets.
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