Sri Lanka Thump Pakistan: Level Series
Sri Lanka came back Strongly to win the 2nd test at the P Sara Oval to level the series 1-1 with a game to played at Pallekele starting on the 3rd of July. Chasing 153 to win the test match and with rain forecasting on the final day the Lankans pulled it off in 26.3 overs. The intent was clear from the onset with Kithuruwan Vithange promoted to open the batting and justified it with a quickfire 34 of 23 deliveries, Kumar Sangakara was snared up in the very next ball by Yasir Shah but the incoming Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Matthews ensured that his team got past the target without further hiccups, although Dimuth Karunaratne did fall to Yasir Shah after a well made 50 of 57 balls.
The topsy turvy test match produced moments of brilliance as well as some top notch performances. Earlier the Pakistanis were bowled out for a paltry 138 in their first innings after only four of their batsmen got to double figures. Sri Lanka worked hard to make 315 in their first innings, thanks largely to Kaushal Silva who made a gritty 80 of 218 deliveries. Yasir Shah once again proved his worth by taking 6-96 in his 41.3 overs.
The Pakistani second innings got off to a a disastrous start with Mohammed Hafeez falling in the fourth over to Matthews, only for Ahmed Shehzad and Azhar Ali to steady the ship. The Pakistanis played with intent as well as freedom but Dhammika Prasad’s incisive pace and seam bowled checked the Pakistani progress from time to time as he picked the all important wickets of Misbah-ul-Haq and the dangerous Sarfaraz Ahmed to make sure his team had a target of under 200 to a chase in the fourth innings on a wearing Sara oval track. Azhar anchored the Pakistan innings with a watchful 117, his ninth Test century, but found little support at the other end as the last six wickets tumbled for 55 runs.