Jan 122014
Sri Lanka cruise to crushing win

Opening batsmen Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva hit half centuries and drove Sri Lanka to an emphatic nine-wicket victory over Pakistan in the second test to go 1-0 up in the series.

Karunaratne remained unbeaten on 62 while Silva fell for 58 as Sri Lanka reached 137-1 for its biggest win by wickets among the 45 tests played between the two nations.

Resuming at 330-7, fast bowler Suranga Lakmal dashed Pakistan’s hopes of putting up a fight with a career-best 4-78 before Pakistan was bowled out for 359 in an hour on the last day an overall lead of 136 runs.

Kumar Sangakkara (9) pulled Saeed Ajmal to midwicket boundary and then ran the winning run to finish the match at tea on the last day.

“The bowlers did really well and the batsmen came to the party to set up this win,” Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said.

Sri Lanka’s most experienced batsman Mahela Jayawardene braved the pain in his stitched left hand to score 129 as Sri Lanka established a first innings lead of 223 by scoring 388 in the first innings.

Jayawardene’s clubmate Silva missed his maiden test century but also scored a vital first innings 95 which impressed Mathews.

“The younger guys have performed exceptionally well and Mahela showed his class as well,” Mathews said.

“It was a collective effort, I thought the seamers were brilliant and Herath did a good holding job.”

Karunaratne and Silva played out cautiously and steadily progressed to 35-0 by lunch before they cut loose after the break.

Without injured fast bowler Bilawal Bhatti, who was nursing a hamstring injury and couldn’t bowl in the second innings, Pakistan struggled to get the breakthrough and both batsmen scored freely.

Pakistan came close to separating the two openers but Asad Shafiq couldn’t hold on to Silva’s uppish drive off luckless Ajmal when the batsman was on 24.

Ajmal finally got the consolation wicket when he had Silva leg before wicket with Sri Lanka needing only 13 runs for victory.

“They’ve been playing him (Ajmal) for a long time now and the pitch wasn’t giving too much help,” Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said.

Silva added 124 runs for the opening stand and hit five fours in his 134-ball knock. Karunaratne hit eight boundaries and faced 125 balls in his unbeaten innings.

Pakistan’s tail resisted for an hour and added 29 to its overnight 330-7 before it was bowled out.

Lakmal claimed all three wickets and wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene equaled the Sri Lanka record of nine catches in a test match when he had Rahat Ali caught behind.

Sarfraz Ahmed, 70 overnight, tried to farm the strike but could add only four to his overnight score before Lakmal bowled him in the fourth over of the day off a delivery that swung in and went between the bat and pad.

Ahmed batted for 3 1/2 hours, hitting seven fours in his 142-ball maiden test fifty.

“We need a bit of time, the youngsters need to learn to do their basics right especially in tests and try and wait for the bad ball and that’s what they did better,” Misbah said.

“The pitch was flat and we should have scored more than 400 in the second innings.”

Jayawardene equaled Amal Silva’s 1985 record of nine catches against India. Silva achieved the feat twice in the same series.

Lakmal wrapped up the innings by clean bowling Junaid Khan with Ajmal remaining unbeaten on 21.

The first Test ended in a draw at Abu Dhabi and the third will be played in Sharjah from Jan. 16.

Pakistan 1st Innings: 165
Sri Lanka 1st Innings: 388

Pakistan 2nd Innings(Overnight 330-7)

Khurram Manzoor c P Jayawardene b Pradeep 6
Ahmed Shehzad c P Jayawardene b Herath 9
Mohammad Hafeez c P Jayawardene b Pradeep 1
Younis Khan c P Jayawardene b Lakmal 77
Misbah-ul-Haq b Herath 97
Asad Shafiq c Karunaratne b Eranga 23
Sarfraz Ahmed b Lakmal 74
Bilawal Bhatti b Eranga 32
Saeed Ajmal not out 21
Rahat Ali c P Jayawardene b Lakmal 8
Junaid Khan b Lakmal 2
Extras: (1b, 8lb) 9

Total: (all out) 359

Overs: 137.3.

Fall of wickets: 1-11, 2-12, 3-19, 4-148, 5-200, 6-245, 7-312, 8-334, 9-354.

Bowling:Suranga Lakmal 28.3-4-78-4, Nuwan Pradeep 19-3-50-2, Rangana Herath 48-10-132-2, Shaminda Eranga 36-9-74-2, Angelo Mathews 5-1-9-0, Kumar Sangakkara 1-0-7-0.

Sri Lanka 2nd Innings

Dimuth Karunaratne not out 62
Kaushal Silva lbw b Ajmal 58
Kumar Sangakkara not out 9
Extras: (3b, 4lb, 1nb) 8

Total: (for 1 wicket) 137

Overs: 46.2.

Fall of wicket: 1-124.

Did not bat: Dinesh Chandimal, Mahela Jayawardene, Angelo Mathews, Prasanna Jayawardene, Rangana Herath, Shaminda Eranga, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep.

Bowling:Mohammad Hafeez 8-3-22-0, Junaid Khan 10-2-34-0 (1nb), Rahat Ali 11-1-29-0, Saeed Ajmal 17.2-5-45-1.

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Dec 182013
Sharjeel leads Pakistan with fifty on debut

Toss Pakistan chose to bat v Sri Lanka
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Sharjeel Khan looks to clear the long-on boundary, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 2nd T20, Dubai, December 13, 2013

Sharjeel Khan made his ODI debut following his fifty in the second T20I © Getty Images

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Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat first on a Sharjah pitch that Misbah-ul-Haq believed may misbehave under the lights. Angelo Mathews, though, was happy to bowl first, citing the dew which hampered the teams bowling second during the Twenty20 series.

Opener Sharjeel Khan made his ODI debut for Pakistan, after hitting a maiden international fifty in the second T20I . Seamer Bilawal Bhatti was also retained from the T20 series, despite an expensive outing on Wednesday. Bhatti, Junaid Khan and Sohail Tanvir formed the frontline pace attack.

Nuwan Kulasekara was the surprising omission for Sri Lanka, and Suranga Lakmal replaced him in the XI. Legspinning allrounder Seekkuge Prasanna was retained, as a result of which, Ajantha Mendis had to sit out.

Pakistan: 1 Ahmed Shehzad, 2 Sharjeel Khan, 3 Mohammad Hafeez, 4 Sohaib Maqsood, 5 Misbah ul Haq (capt), 6 Umar Akmal, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Bilawal Bhatti, 9 Sohail Tanvir, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Junaid Khan

Sri Lanka: 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2 Kusal Perera 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Dinesh Chandimal, 5 Angelo Mathews (capt), 6 Lahiru Thirimanne, 7 Thisara Perera 8 Seekkuge Prasanna, 9 Suranga Lakmal, 10 Sachithra Senanayake, 11 Lasith Malinga

Jan 052013
Aus v Sri Lanka day 4

Australia have made a shaky start chasing 141 for victory and a series clean sweep against Sri Lanka in the third Test at the SCG.

The hosts went to the break 1-13 after Dave Warner was out for a first-ball duck just before lunch.
He pushed forward to a delivery from Suranga Lakmal (1-7), edging a sharp catch to Mahela Jaywardene at second slip.
Ed Cowan (1), who was nearly run out for the second time in the match shortly before Warner’s dismissal, and Phil Hughes (12) will resume the run chase after the interval.
Australia need a further 128 to win the match and complete a 3-0 series victory.
Sri Lanka began the day on 7-225 and lost two quick wickets before a stubborn last-wicket stand of 41 between Dinesh Chandimal (62 not out) and No.11 Nuwan Pradeep (9) pushed the lead towards 150.
Pradeep was the last man out after resisting the Australian attack for 57 minutes.
Paceman Jackson Bird finished with seven wickets for the match after capturing 3-76 in the second innings.
Chandimal combined power and placement to compile an invaluable half-century that gives his team a glimmer of hope of securing their first Test win in Australia.  
The Sri Lankans went to stumps on day three believing they could steal a snatch and grab victory if they could get 150-175 runs in front.
Those hopes looked forlorn as the Australians made early in-roads.  
Rangana Herath (10) added just one to his overnight score before he played on attempting to leave a delivery from Bird.
The Sri Lankan appeared rattled just a few balls after entering a verbal battle with Australian wicket-keeper Matthew Wade over a lost run out opportunity.
The Australians believe Herath changed direction and veered towards the middle of the pitch when attempting to avoid Wade throwing down the stumps at the non striker’s end.
The keeper was forced to lob the ball over Herath’s head but it sailed well past Mitchell Johnson, who was waiting at the stumps to complete what would have been the easiest of run outs.    
Suranga Lakmal (0) was next in and must have thought he was playing in a T20, pulling away to the leg side and attempting an ambitious heave over mid wicket off Mitchell Johnson (3-34).
There was no connection as the ball crashed into his middle stump.
Pradeep and Chandimal then frustrated Australia for the best part of an hour before Bird induced an edge from Pradeep through to Wade.
Australia will complete a series whitewash provided they avoid a major batting collapse on a wearing track.
Captain Michael Clarke is being urged to use veteran batsman Mike Hussey higher up the order for his final innings.
Mr Cricket has so far resisted any suggestions he be afforded special treatment, preferring the game plays out its natural course.

First Posted 06 January, 2013 12:39PM AEST

Jan 032013
Thirimanne pushes Sri Lanka to 294

Toss Australia chose to field v Sri Lanka
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Suranga Lakmal made two early breakthroughs, England v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Lord's, June 3, 2011

Suranga Lakmal, a late inclusion in the Sri Lanka squad, will play at the SCG © AFP

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Sri Lanka made four changes and were sent in to bat on an SCG pitch expected to offer some assistance to the fast bowlers early on the first day. Michael Clarke confirmed Australia would take four fast bowlers into the match, as he announced on Wednesday, and he decided their best chance to make use of the green-tinged pitch would be to set them loose immediately.

“The wicket has got a fair bit of grass on it,” Clarke said. “I think if anything it’s probably going to have a little bit in it up until lunch today, so we want to maximise the conditions with four fast bowlers. It’s different for us, but we think conditions are conducive to it. Losing Shane Watson means we lose the extra bowling so we thought bringing in the extra fast bowler to make up for that was the way to go in this Test match.”

The inclusion of Mitchell Starc, who was rested for the Melbourne Test, as a replacement for the injured Shane Watson was the only change for Australia, who are also farewelling the retiring Michael Hussey. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, were forced to bring four new men in to cover for injuries.

Dinesh Chandimal will keep wicket and bat at No.7 instead of Prasanna Jayawardene, who suffered a hairline fracture to his thumb in Melbourne. Lahiru Thirimanne has also been included as a replacement for Kumar Sangakkara, who also suffered a broken digit in the MCG Test, and has had little time to acclimatise having just flown in from Sri Lanka.

The same can be said of Suranga Lakmal, who has been thrust into the side in place of Shaminda Eranga, who hurt his ankle at training on match eve. There will also be an opportunity for the fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep, who has been named as a replacement for the injured Chanaka Welegedara (hamstring).

Australia 1 David Warner, 2 Ed Cowan, 3 Phillip Hughes, 4 Michael Clarke (capt), 5 Michael Hussey, 6 Matthew Wade (wk), 7 Mitchell Johnson, 8 Peter Siddle, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Jackson Bird.

Sri Lanka 1 Dimuth Karunaratne, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Mahela Jayawardene (capt), 4 Lahiru Thirimanne, 5 Thilan Samaraweera, 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Dinesh Chandimal (wk), 8 Rangana Herath, 9 Dhammika Prasa, 10 Suranga Lakmal, 11 Nuwan Pradeep.

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