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Insipid Pakistan batting slumps against Sri Lanka

09 January, 2014

DUBAI: Sri Lanka owed it to their bowlers for taking the opening day honours against Pakistan in the second Test in Dubai on Wednesday.

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A three-pronged pace and one-man spin attack helped Sri Lanka bowl out the hosts for just 165 after Angelo Mathews won the toss and opted to bowl on a seaming Dubai stadium pitch. This was the third consecutive first-innings failure for Pakistan at the venue — they had folded for 99 in both the last two Tests against England and South Africa.

Pace man Nuwan Pradeep finished with a career-best three off 62 while spinner Rangana Herath took three for 26. Fast-bowlers Shaminda Eranga (two for 25) and Suranga Lakmal (two for 45) were also useful in the second session.

By the close, Sri Lanka had gathered 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 their 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 for one to 128 for six at tea.

Pradeep says his hard work paid off

"I came into the team after a long time," said Pradeep who played his last Test in January last year. "During that period I worked hard in the club as well as with the A team and from that experience I bowled well today."

It wasn't easy out there, says Manzoor

Under pressure opener Khurram Manzoor, top-scored with 73 in an otherwise insipid batting display.

Manzoor termed the seam movement in the Dubai track difficult to handle.

"It wasn't easy out there, toss was vital because pitch is helping seam bowlers," said Manzoor. "Whoever plays positive will score runs. Sri Lankans really bowled well and the first hour on Thursday will be important for us." Pakistan had pinned their hopes on Younus Khan and Misbahul Haq but lost their last eight wickets for 58 runs.


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