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Aug 15, 2014
Sri Lanka were dismissed on 320 in 99.3 overs on the second Day of the second and final Test against Pakistan at SSC. While opener Upul Tharanga remained the top-scorer in the innings, the lower order contributed to the scoreboard with a few stroke-filled partnerships.
Resuming from their overnight score of 261 for eight, the onus was on the remaining three batsmen to guide the hosts past 300, which would be seen as a respectable total on this ground though experts were expecting the hosts to fire with the bat on this pitch which hardly has anything for the bowlers. The Sinhalese Sports Club has been a happy hunting ground for several Sri Lankan batsmen, including the outgoing legend Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara.
Tharanga had earlier given the hosts a good start, scoring 92 from 179 balls before getting dismissed by Wahab Riaz. At 144 for the loss of one wicket, a big total looked very likely for the hosts. A regular tumble of wickets thanks to some fine swing bowling displayed by Junaid Khan and Riaz ensured the Lankans were left gasping for breath at the end of the first day at 261 for eight. Junaid Khan went on to pick his fifth Test five-wicket haul, all of them coming against Sri Lanka.
At the start of play on the second day, the tail-enders were given the responsibility of taking the hosts past 300, which would keep them in the game given the nature of the wicket. The likes of Rangana Herath and Chanaka Welegedera played some fine shots, with the latter smashing three consecutive boundaries off Riaz in the 98th over.
(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)
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