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Lakmal’s double blow restricts Pakistan to 107-3

January 20, 2014

SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Fast bowler Suranga Lakmal removed openers in successive overs and restricted Pakistan’s run-chase to 107-3 at tea after Sri Lanka setup a stiff target of 302 in the last two sessions of the decisive third test on Monday.

Lakmal cut short Ahmed Shehzad and Khurram Manzoor’s brisk starts of 21 runs each and captain Angelo Mathews got rid of Younis Khan (29) to leave Pakistan needing further 195 runs in the remaining 35 overs to level the series.

Azhar Ali was not out on 29 at the break as Pakistan still had not given up the hope and promoted Sarfraz Ahmed in the batting order, who was unbeaten on 7.

Lakmal had Shehzad caught at deep midwicket before Manzoor couldn’t get out of the line of short pitched delivery and gloved a catch to diving Prasanna Jayawardene down the legside in the paceman’s next over.

Khan added 49 runs with Ali, but in search of quick runs he pulled Mathews straight to Kumar Sangakkara at short mid-wicket.

Resuming at the overnight score of 133-5 on the last day, Sri Lanka’s tailenders frustrated Pakistan before the second innings eventually ended on 214 at lunch on the last day.

It gave Sri Lanka a healthy lead of 301 runs after Pakistan — trailing 1-0 in the series — conceded an 87-run first innings lead.

Jayawardene hit six fours and added 62 runs with Mathews (31) before he was caught close to the wicket by Ali off Saeed Ajmal (3-53).

Mathews had not added to his overnight score of 14 when he survived an lbw appeal against Mohammad Talha (3-65) as Pakistan’s luck seemed to have run out of television referrals in the series.

Jayawardene made Sri Lanka’s intentions clear from the outset by scoring at a brisk pace as he added 56 runs in the first hour with Mathews before Pakistan struck with the second new ball.

Talha lured Mathews to hook the fast bowler and Khurram Manzoor, who had dropped the Sri Lanka captain on 9 late on the fourth day, caught him at deep square leg.

Left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman (4-56) struck off successive deliveries to dismiss Dilruwan Perera and Rangana Herath, but Shaminda Eranga successfully defended the hat trick ball.

Herath got a golden pair in the match when he was caught by Younis Khan in the slips without scoring after the left-hander was also out for first ball in Sri Lanka’s first innings of 428-9 declared.

Sri Lanka’s last wicket pair frustrated Pakistan for nearly five overs before Ajmal finally wrapped up the innings when Shaminda Eranga top-edged a cut to Rehman at point.

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