If Younis Khan opening the bowling wasn’t bizarre enough, losing the ball even before a ball had to take the cake.
The umpires couldn’t find the ball despite having walked out to the field with it. It took a few minutes to figure out that a helpful member of the ground staff had seen it laying there on the ground, and decided to toss it off the field. Assuming it was an extra practice ball.
The first scoring shot of the day was a Samaraweera classic. A straight drive creamed back past the bowler.
Sri Lankans just had to make sure they batted well and built partnerships to put Pakistan out of the game. Being bowled out for 90 put the Lankans in the box seat pretty early on day one.
Thilan Samaraweera was the first wicket of the day. Run out for 21. Thilan’s cover drive got to mid off a little too quickly than he anticipated.
Soon after Sangakkara fell just 13 runs short of his first century as skipper. Gul snuck through Sangakkara’s defences from around the wicket. With the help of the angle and a hint of reverse swing, Gul managed go between Sangakkara’s immaculate looking forward defensive to peg his stumps back.
Again the onus was on the Sri Lankan middle order. Dilshan went almost immediately on the counter attack, scoring 20 off 15 balls. Some would say in almost wreckless fashion. The lead was a little over 100 at the time.
Dilshan fell just as Warnapura did from last evening. He was barbecued by the umpires. Harper has made a series of terrible decisions of late. And of course no one keeps track of Taufel’s mistakes anymore. The ICC just keeps awarding him ‘Umpire of the Year’ with little or no research – just opinion.
Not long after Mathews was dropped on four by Manzoor, but it was already looking like the Sri Lankan batsmen were prepared to give away any advantage their bowlers had gained.
At lunch on day 2, Sri Lanka found themselves at 226/8. Sri Lanka just lead by 136 runs with 2 wickets remaining.
It’s safe to say that Pakistan has clawed its way back into this Test match. After being dismissed for 90, it’s commendable that the lead is below 200.