DUBAI: Sri Lanka owed it to their bowlers for taking the opening day honours against Pakistan in the second Test in Dubai on Wednesday. A three-pronged pace and one-man spin attack helped Sri Lanka bowl out Pakistan for just 165 after Angelo Mathews won the toss and opted to bowl on a seaming Dubai Stadium pitch. Paceman Nuwan Pradeep finished with a career best 3-62 while spinner Rangana Herath took 3-26. Fast bowlers Shaminda Eranga (2-25) and Suranga Lakmal (2-45) were also useful in the second session.
By the close Sri Lanka had knocked off 57 runs for the loss of opener Dimuth Karunaratne, out leg-before to Junaid Khan for 32. Kaushal Silva and Kumar Sangakkara were each on 12 as Sri Lanka now trail Pakistan by 108 runs with nine wickets intact on a day dominated by the bowlers. But initially it looked as if Sri Lanka had miscalculated in bowling first as Ahmed Shehzad, trapped leg-before by Pradeep in the tenth over for three, was the only man out by lunch, but five wickets fell for 71 runs as Pakistan slumped from 57-1 to 128-6 at tea.
Opener Khurram Manzoor top-scored with 73 in an otherwise insipid batting display. Sri Lankan pacemen had little success in the first session and sloppy fielding also spoiled their hard work. Mathews floored Shehzad in the slips off Lakmal with the batsman still to get off the mark, but the lapse did not prove costly. Mahela Jayawardene dropped Hafeez off the first ball he faced from Pradeep, but the paceman had the last laugh when he bowled Hafeez through the gate soon after lunch.
Pakistan had pinned their hopes on Younis Khan and Misbahul Haq but they lost their last eight wickets for 58 runs. Eranga had the prized wickets of Younis and Misbah in the space of seven balls. Younis, who made 13, tried to cut a wide delivery while Misbah was squared up on a moving delivery on one – both caught behind. It was a rare failure for Misbah who was Pakistan’s best batsman in Tests and one-dayers last year. Lakmal then had Manzoor caught behind off a rash shot and Asad Shafiq off a miscued drive for six. Manzoor hit seven fours and a six during his 136-ball knock but failed to turn it into a big score and halt the slide. Pradeep, who had three wickets in his previous four Tests, took the scalp of Sarfraz Ahmed after tea for seven to claim his best figures in Tests. Herath polished off the tail to wrap Pakistan’s innings.
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