Sri Lanka struggle

October 27, 2011
Cricket - International Cricket - Bet Now at Bet365

Before the first Test between Pakistan and South Africa, Tillakaratne Dilshan said that his pace attack would be the key to the game and after a disappointing batting collapse his attack failed.

The first wicket by a pace bowler came with the score on 278. Nuwan Pradeep was given a debut in that game but dropped for match two with the extra pace of Dhammika Prasad preferred. Undeterred by his previous pre-match observation blowing up in his face, Dilshan opined that the batsmen needed to put runs on the board in order to help his young bowlers. He won the toss and elected to bat and by lunch four of the top five had been dismissed for single figures, including himself and Mahela Jayawardene.

With wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene, who had helped Kumar Sangakkara, injured, it was left to debutant Kaushal Silva to try to help the former captain steer his side to a respectable total after Angelo Mathews went for 19 just before lunch.

Silva made 20 in a 54-run partnership with Sangakkara but, at 127-6, batting first looked a mistake. The situation worsened on 154 as both Prasad and Sangakkara perished, with an uncharacteristic shot seeing Sangakkara caught in the deep for 78. Rangana Herath, with 29, and Chanaka Welegedara put on an unlikely 75 for the ninth wicket and Welegedara was deprived of a maiden Test half-century when he was last out stumped for 48 with the score on 239.

Umar Gul did the early damage with the first three wickets and Saeed Ajmal weighed in with three of the last four. The pitch gave a little help early on but both openers did not move their feet and Mahela is woefully out of touch while Dilshan's cavalier nature was once more his undoing.

Despite lively pace from Prasad, the Pakistani openers looked secure in reaching 42-0 off 9 overs before stumps and Sri Lanka look set to have a long couple of days in the field before again trying to mount a rearguard action to save the match. With so many batsmen out of touch they may well not manage it a second time.

Pakistan are 1.44 to win the match while Sri Lanka can be backed at 13.00.

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