Pakistan spinners take four to set up exciting final day


Stumps Sri Lanka 69 for four (Kaushal 25, Yasir 2-25) and 419 lead Pakistan 422 (Azhar 85, Haris 76, Herath 5-93) by 66 runs

Yasir Shah pivots after delivering Francois Nel/Getty Pictures

For eleven periods this Take a look at went nowhere, the groups solely three runs aside on the finish of the primary innings, however in the direction of the tip of day 4, Pakistan’s spinners claimed 4 wickets, and shocked it into life.

Having been made to labour within the discipline for 162.three overs, Sri Lanka’s now face a stern battle on Monday. They’re 66 runs forward, however have misplaced 4 of their high 5, and have fielded solely six specialist batsmen on this match. On the crease is Kusal Mendis, who survived an intensive examination from Yasir Shah to complete on 16 off 66. With him is nightwatchman Suranga Lakmal. Niroshan Dickwella and Dilruwan Perera – the final recognised batsman – are but to come back to the crease.

That Sri Lanka have discovered themselves on this place, is basically Yasir’s work, however ongoing poor umpiring on this Take a look at was the catalyst for the slide. Dimuth Karunaratne was given out bat-pad for 10 off Yasir, although replays confirmed neither his bat, nor glove, bought near the ball. He ought to have reviewed it, after all, however as his bat had hit the bottom through the course of his stroke, he maybe felt he had made contact.

The subsequent two wickets went to part-timers, although Yasir had constructed substantial stress to assist result in these batting errors. Lahiru Thirimanne edged a regulation offbreak from Asad Shafiq behind for 7. Kaushal Silva then missed a sweep in opposition to a sharp-turning Haris Sohail supply and was dismissed for 25. Each these batsmen’s locations will come beneath stress now – every having failed twice within the Take a look at.

Dinesh Chandimal arrived on the crease together with his facet in hassle, as had been the case within the first innings, and he sought to play the identical approach as he did in that first dig. Having made 7 off 29 balls with Mendis, who himself was in discomfort in opposition to Yasir, Chandimal did not get ahead to a fantastically flighted supply from the legspinner, and despatched an outdoor edge to slide. Sri Lanka had stumbled to 65 for four and given Pakistan a glimpse – distant although it’s for now – at victory.

In actual fact, that Pakistan ended the day ready of power was the results of a resurgence that had first begun with the bat. By lunch, they’d misplaced 5 wickets for 74 runs, and have been at risk of conceding a considerable lead – nonetheless 79 runs behind Sri Lanka’s 419, and with solely two wickets left. However Hasan Ali got here in swinging, and in the midst of driving the opposition again together with his 25-ball 29, additionally enlivened what had in any other case been a dreary batting effort from Pakistan. Sohail struck three sixes off Rangana Herath – two down the bottom, and one over cow nook – earlier than he ran at Herath instantly after having the final of these huge blows, and bought himself stumped. That wicket accomplished Herath’s 32nd profession five-wicket haul, and his seventh in opposition to Pakistan. He would go on to say innings figures of 5 for 93, however will now probably additionally need to summon a few of his greatest work with the bat.

Whereas Hasan made fast floor at one finish, Haris had moved competently previous 50 on the different, in his maiden Take a look at innings. The fours sq. on the offside, and the sixes down the bottom off the finger spinners, have been the first options of his eventual 76 off 161 balls. After Hasan departed and Pakistan discovered themselves 9 down, Haris and Sri Lanka entered a type of frustratingly boring intervals, the place the sphere was unfold for the primary 4 balls whereas Haris was on strike, and the batsman routinely turned down singles in an effort to shield Mohammad Abbas, the No. XI. Abbas, nevertheless, proved himself able to resisting, seeing out 34 balls for his one run. Ultimately, although, the third new ball was taken, and Haris was caught by mid-off, off the bowling of Nuwan Pradeep. Pakistan had, by then, limped over Sri Lanka’s 419 to determine a three-run lead.

The fear, as ever, for Sri Lanka was that past Rangana Herath, there was not a lot penetration within the assault. Dilruwan Perera claimed a solitary wicket in his 37 overs, and Lakshan Sandakan went wicketless whereas conceding 98. The seamers have been marginally higher. Lakmal had achieved good motion off the seam within the first session to take two wickets, together with that of Sarfraz Ahmed, who had performed on trying to inject some urgency into the innings. Pradeep, who had dismissed Babar Azam with the final ball of day three, additionally claimed two wickets.

If the match hurtles to a conclusion after having ambled aimlessly for thus lengthy, it could be the third Take a look at between these two groups that has taken that tough type. In 2014, the third Take a look at in Sharjah had been interminably boring till Pakistan chased down 302 inside 58 overs. Later that very same 12 months, Herath took 5 wickets on the ultimate day of what was in any other case a lethargic Take a look at, to arrange the thrilling – and finally profitable – pursuit of a small rating on the ultimate night.

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