Wahab wobbles SL but big chase still likely

09 October 2017

Sri Lanka reduced to 5-34 in second innings but closing in on series win with 254-run lead in second Test

Pakistan v Sri Lanka Tests, Second Test


Paceman Wahab Riaz took three wickets in a fiery spell but Sri Lanka were still in the driving seat after the third day of the second day-night Test in Dubai on Sunday.

Wahab grabbed 3-10 to derail Sri Lanka's second innings – they were 5-34 at the close – but the visitors were still in a strong position with an overall lead of 254 with five wickets intact.

Wahab dismissed Sri Lankan skipper Dinesh Chandimal lbw for nought in the last over before stumps to give Pakistan a faint hope of upsetting the tables, but it will be an uphill task for their faltering batsmen to improve in the second innings.

Pakistan were dismissed for 262 in their first innings, conceding a big 220-run lead following Sri Lanka's first innings 482.

It was paceman Mohammad Abbas who started the Sri Lankan slide, having opener Kaushal Silva caught behind for three before Wahab dismissed first-innings centurion Dimuth Karunaratne for seven.

He then had debutant Sadeera Samarawickrama out for 13 in a hostile spell of 3.3 overs. Leg-spinner Yasir Shah had nightwatchman Suranga Lakmal out for one as Pakistan started to stage a fightback.

At stumps, Kusal Mendis was unbeaten on eight.

Sri Lankan spinners Dilruwan Perera (3-72) and Rangana Herath (3-84) had bundled Pakistan out just after dinner to put Sri Lanka in sight of a series win, after the visitors won the first Test by 21 runs in Abu Dhabi.

Only Azhar Ali (59) and Haris Sohail (56) offered some resistance as the Pakistani batsmen once again flopped on a batting friendly Dubai Stadium pitch, losing their last six wickets for 82.

It was 21 runs short of the follow-on mark but Sri Lanka did not enforce it.

Azhar and Sohail lifted Pakistan from a precarious 4-109 during a battling fifth-wicket stand of 71, but once Azhar was gone the innings unfolded.

Herath trapped Azhar lbw and reviewed it to overturn a not-out decision, triggering the collapse. Azhar hit six boundaries in his patient knock.

Sohail was the eighth wicket to fall, trapped in front by Perera to end any hopes of Pakistan reaching a respectable total. He smashed four fours and two sixes. 

Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed made 14 before he miscued a sweep and was caught off Perera.

When Pakistan resumed at 0-51, paceman Lahiru Gamage took his first wicket in Test cricket, bowling Shan Masood through the gate after the opener had made 16.

Sami Aslam was trapped lbw by Perera for 39 to leave Pakistan two down with 65 runs on the board.

Asad Shafiq fell for 12 when he edged Lakmal to slip to continue his wretched form in the series. Babar Azam made eight.

Lakmal finished with 2-41 while Gamage had figures of 2-38.

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