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Pakistan struggling as its batting collapses again – first Test vs. Sri Lanka

Zia Rana June 23, 2012

Pakistan 48-5 (Mohammad Hafeez 20, Younis Khan 15, Suraj Randiv 2-5) trail Sri Lanka 472 (Kumar Sangakkara 199*, Tillakaratne Dilshan 101, Saeed Ajmal 5-146) by 424 runs.

The unpredictable batting of Pakistan let them down once again as they surrendered against the quality bowling of Sri Lanka on the second day of the first Test.

The Lankan Lions hammered 472 runs in their first innings and the tourists were reeling at 48 in 24 overs for the loss of five wickets at stumps on the second day’s play.

Kumar Sangakkara - The majestic unbeaten knock of 199 runs.

Kumar Sangakkara – The majestic unbeaten knock of 199 runs.

The first Test of the three match series is being played at Galle International Stadium from June 22, 2012.

Earlier, the Islanders started their first innings on day two at 300 after losing two wickets in 90 overs, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene were unbeaten on 111 and 55 respectively. The duo initiated the innings with caution and managed just 11 runs in the first seven overs. The visitors got an early breakthrough when the skipper, Jayawardene was clean bowled by Saeed Ajmal on the third ball of the next over for 62. The third wicket fell at 315 runs as Saeed Ajmal picked up two quick wickets with the addition of 20 runs when Prasanna Jayawardene joined in with Sangakkara.

Jayawardene opened his account with a four as Sangakkara kept on consolidating at the other end with great responsibility. The first opened up in the 121st over with a couple of fours as the latter completed his 150 in the 131st over when the score board displayed 400 runs for the home side. The score was taken to 415 when Prasanna Jayawardene was caught behind by the wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal, off the stand in captain, Mohammad Hafeez, for 48. Kumar Sangakkara took over the charge as the wicket started crumbling at regular intervals as the late order batsmen were unable to defend the Pakistani spinners. Sangakkara remained unbeaten for a majestic 199 as their innings was folded back for 472 runs in 153.2 overs.

Saeed Ajmal was the main destructor by grabbing five wickets, Mohammad Hafeez held three as Abdur Rehman claimed one wicket.

Hafeez and Taufeeq Umar opened the innings for Pakistan and gathered 9 runs in the second over with two fours. The openers contributed 17 runs for the first wicket when Nuwan Kulasekara struck twice for the Lankan Lions in the fifth over by removing Taufeeq Umar and Azhar Ali. Younis Khan came in the centre in a difficult situation and tried to stabilise the innings with Mohammad Hafeez. They enhanced the score to 43 when Hafeez was declared leg before wicket off Suraj Randiv for 20 runs.

The night watchman Saeed Ajmal and Asad Shafiq went back to the pavilion without opening their accounts as the visitors lost their fifth on 44 runs. Younis Khan was holding one end for 15 and the debutant Mohammad Ayub managed one runs and Pakistan was in great trouble at 48 with five wickets in hand at the end of the second day’s play.

Nuwan Kulasekara and Suraj Randiv ripped through the top batting order of Pakistan by grasping two wickets each as Rangana Herath secured one wicket.

Pakistan is in deep trouble, they will depend on the experienced Younis Khan and the young Mohammad Ayub to bring solidarity to avoid the follow on which looks very eminent as Sri Lanka is at the driving seat in the first Test.

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