Angelo Mathews remained unbeaten on 43 at the end of Sri Lanka's second innings © AFP (File Photo)
Angelo Mathews remained unbeaten on 43 at the end of Sri Lanka’s second innings © AFP (File Photo)

 

By Amit Banerjee

 

Aug 17, 2014

 

Sri Lanka were bowled out for a total of 282 in 109 overs after the no 11 batsman Chanaka Welegedera was run out for a duck, giving Pakistan have been set a target of 271 at the end of the second session of the fourth day of the second and final Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo. While the tourists would be hoping for their top-order to fire, Sri Lanka are hopeful of another Rangana Herath magic show as the pitch is currently assisint pace and spin.

 

Resuming from the Lunch score of 234 for the loss of five wickets, the hosts had pinned their hopes on their in-form skipper Angelo Mathews and wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella. The two began the post-lunch session with a few good strokes, but parted ways soon as Dickwella was trapped by Wahab Riaz, who dismissed Dilruwan Perera in similar fashion a couple of deliveries later. With Mathews fast losing support from the other side, the tourists were beginning to close in on the Lankan lower-order.

 

Dhammika Prasad‘s arrival at the crease saw a lot of heat and entertainment on the field. The pacer had earlier sent Junaid Khan to the hospital after he bowled a vicious bouncer that struck Junaid on the helmet grill and had a severe impact on his jaw. Riaz was keen to return the favour and seemed to aim every delivery at his head. Riaz softened Prasad up with a couple of short deliveries that hit him on the grill as well as created a dismissal chance. The rivalry reached its peak when there was a bit of physical contact involved, to which a fired-up Perera responded with a big six over long-on off Ajmal.

 

The majestic six was unfortunatey followed by Perera getting run-out, ending an entertaining innings and a partnership. Rangana Herath and Welegedera returned to the pavilion soon after as the Lankans were dismissed for a total which was way below expectations. Mathews was left unbeaten at 43, missing a well-deserved 19th half-century by seven runs.

 

Though a 270-run target does not look very intimidating for Pakistan, they will be wary of the deceitful conditions that got the better of the Sri Lankan batsmen in the morning and Lunch sessions. Herath on the other hand would be smacking his lips with delight at the prospect of another major wicket-haul as the pitch at the moment seems to be tailor-made for him.

 

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 320 and 282 (Upul Tharanga 45; Kumar Sangakkara 59, Mahela Jayawardene 54, Angelo Mathews 43; Wahab Riaz 3 for 76, Saeed Ajmal 3 for 89) lead Pakistan 332 (Ahmed Shehzad 58, Asad Shafiq 42, Sarfraz Ahmed 103;  Herath 9 for 127) by 270 runs.

 

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(Amit Banerjee, a reporter at CricketCountry, takes keen interest in photography, traveling, technology, automobiles, food and, of course, cricket. He can be followed on Twitter via his handle @akb287)