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Sri Lanka pacemen leave Pakistan limping at 128-6

January 8, 2014

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Sri Lanka exploited Pakistan’s vulnerability to seam bowling to leave the host side limping at 128-6 at tea on the first day of the second cricket test on Wednesday.

Only opener Khurram Manzoor stood up to the Sri Lankan battery with a patient 73 off 136 balls with seven fours, but he was part of a collapse after lunch, when Pakistan slumped from 57-1 at the break to 127-6.

Manzoor was the fifth wicket to fall, caught behind off Suranga Lakmal, who also picked up the sixth wicket, Asad Shafiq, to claim 2-26.

Shaminda Eranga, with 2-19, hurried the collapse when he found the edges of Pakistan’s two experienced batsmen, Younis Khan for 13 and captain Misbah-ul-Haq for 1 in successive overs off deliveries which swung away.

Nuwan Pradeep, the only change in the Sri Lanka team from the drawn first test, dismissed Ahmed Shehzad (3), the only wicket to fall in the first session, and Mohammad Hafeez (21) on either side of lunch after Sri Lanka won the toss.

At tea, Sarfraz Ahmed was not out on 6 and Bilawal Bhatti was yet to score.

The wickets have justified Sri Lanka’s choice to go with three fast bowlers instead of two spinners after the pitch was left under cover due to rain on Tuesday and retained enough moisture in it for the fast bowlers.

Shehzad should have been dismissed in the fifth over for nought but was dropped by captain Angelo Mathews off Lakmal. Pradeep brought one into the Pakistan opener sharply and had him plumb leg before wicket. Hafeez should have been gone off first ball, but Mahela Jayawardene couldn’t hold onto a sharp low chance in the slips as Pakistan was restricted to 57-1 by lunch.

Manzoor and Hafeez added 50 runs for the second wicket, and in a brief counterattack hit five boundaries after lunch. Manzoor took three fours in Pradeep’s first over after the break and Hafeez pulled and cut left-arm spinner Rangana Herath for two boundaries in the next over.

But Hafeez was undone by a sharp Pradeep inswinger and was clean bowled at 78-2.

Pakistan made only one change to its starting lineup, with wicketkeeper-batsman Ahmed replacing Adnan Akmal, who broke his left index finger during the drawn first test.

Surprisingly, Pakistan didn’t include left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman and instead stayed with Rahat Ali despite the fact the Dubai pitch favors spinners as the game progresses.

Sri Lanka brought back third seamer Pradeep in place of offspinner Sachithra Senanayake, who was wicketless in his debut test at Abu Dhabi.

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