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Khan, Bhatti reduce Sri Lanka to 167-8

December 31, 2013

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Pakistan fast bowler Junaid Khan grabbed his fourth five-wicket haul against Sri Lanka and Bilawal Bhatti made a dream debut to leave the tourists tottering at 167-8 on the opening day of the first test on Tuesday.

In a sensational collapse after lunch, Sri Lanka lost seven wickets for 100 runs against left-armer Khan (5-51) and Bhatti (3-59).

Captain Angelo Mathews was batting on 57 with nine fours while Eranga Shaminda was not out on 12 at tea.

Mathews and Shaminda put on precious 43 runs for the ninth wicket stand after Pakistan had reduced them to 124-8.

Sri Lanka looked in good shape at 67-1 before Bhatti had Kaushal Perera (20), Mahela Jayawardene (5) and Dinesh Chandimal (0) dismissed in eight balls and Khan wrecked the lower middle order.

Jayawardene was caught behind off a no-ball by Bhatti before he was dismissed in a similar fashion off the very next delivery which took a thick outside edge low to wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal.

Kumar Sangakkara (16), who had scored 1,006 runs in the last six test matches against Pakistan, played a lose drive off Khan’s delivery to be snapped at point to reduce Sri Lanka to 82-5 as Khan jolted the Sri Lanka batting.

Khan had Prasanna Jayawardene (5) and debutant Sachithra Senanayake (5) caught behind and uprooted Rangana Herath’s off stump before Mathews and Shaminda added some valuable runs.

Earlier, Sri Lanka showed no rust after a nine-month break from test cricket, and coped well after being sent in on a pitch expected to favor Pakistan’s three pacemen.

Dimuth Karunaratne hit five fours in his 38 before Asad Shafiq took a brilliant catch off Khan to remove him after a 57-run opening stand.

Karunaratne was quick to punish any overpitched delivery and Sri Lanka scored a brisk 50 runs in the first hour off fast bowlers Khan, Bhatti and Rahat Ali.

Pakistan also lost one of its two television referrals when they thought Khan had found the outside edge of Perera’s bat on 18, but TV umpire Sundaram Ravi upheld the not out decision.

Karunaratne’s departure slowed down the scoring rate considerably with Sangakkara and Perera watchfully negotiating the last half an hour.

Mohammad Hafeez, who scored three centuries in the one-day series, forced Pakistan to leave out middle-order batsman Azhar Ali for the first time since he made his test debut in 2010 and played in Pakistan’s all 31 test matches.

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