Pakistan on top thanks to Haris, spinners

Published : 9:41 am  October 2, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (300) reads | 

 Rangana Herath claims five wickets 



Pakistan put up a tremendous all-round performance to take control on the fourth day of the opening Test match against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi yesterday.   

After they managed to snatch a close three-run lead on the first innings, their bowlers got their act together well to have the Lankans struggling in their second innings.   

Sri Lanka reached 69 for four in their second innings with Kusal Mendis on 16 and night-watchman Suranga Lakmal on 2. 

This was after Yasir Shah had struck two vital blows to remove opener Dimuth Karunaratne (10) and Skipper Dinesh Chandimal (7) during another controlled spell of bowling.

In between, Sri Lanka also lost the key wickets of Kaushal Silva (25) and Lahiru Thirimanne (7) as Pakistan tightened their grip in an attempt to force a victory.     

Earlier, veteran spinner Rangana Herath returned with five wickets but a half century from Haris Sohail on his debut saw Pakistan take a close three-run lead.

The wily left-armer finished with five wickets for 93 in a marathon 40 overs but left-hander Sohail fought through his 76-run knock to take Pakistan to 422 all out in reply to Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 419 runs.

Sohail added an invaluable 50 runs for the ninth wicket with tail-ender Hasan Ali to lift Pakistan from 340 for eight and deprived Sri Lanka of a healthy lead.




Sohail hit seven fours and two sixes before holing out to paceman Nuwan Pradeep who finished with two for 77.

Herath gave his team the much-needed wicket of a resolute Ali, luring him into an uppish drive which was brilliantly caught at short mid-wicket by a diving Kusal Mendis.

Azhar’s defiant knock lasted more than five hours and included four boundaries but with his dismissal Pakistan’s hopes of building a lead faded.

Hasan whirlwind 25-ball 29 had three sixes and two boundaries.

Paceman Suranga Lakmal then came into his own, bowling Pakistan Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed off an inside edge for 18 runs before trapping Mohammad Amir leg before for four runs. Lakmal finished with two for 42.-AFP