Asif's pace rocks Sri Lanka

Pace bowler Mohammad Asif took his maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket for Pakistan on Monday to restrict Sri Lanka to 267-8 wickets in their first innings at stumps on the first day of the second Test.

After skipper Inzamam ul-Haq elected to bowl first after winning the toss, Asif bowled with accuracy, moving the ball both ways on a seaming pitch to dismissed Upul Tharanga (10), Sanath Jayasuriya (14) and Mahela Jayawardene (4) in a troubling first spell.

Later he returned with the second new ball to bowl out threatening Thilan Samaraweera for 65 and Malinga Bandara for 43, maintaining his good form from the drawn first Test where he took six wickets in two innings.

Asif finished the day with 5-41 and legspinner Danish Kaneria gave him good support snaring 3-44.

Tharanga started confidently but edged a catch to Younis Khan at slips with the total on 18. Jayasuriya, playing in his final Test, appeared unconvincing in his brief 14-run innings, having survived an lbw appeal and a dropped catch in the slips by Imran Farhat.

He was later bowled by an Asif delivery that cut back to hit the left-hander’s off-stump, leaving Sri Lanka on 2-27.

Jayawardene edged a simple catch to Farhat with the total at 61.

Later Kumar Sangakkara and Thilan Samaraweera combined for a defiant 81-run stand for the fourth wicket before Sangakkara was caught at silly point off Kaneria for 79.

Sangakkara faced 98 balls and hit 15 boundaries, while Samaraweera faced 180 balls for his 65.

Bandara enjoyed luck, having been dropped early in his innings and later ruled not out by Sri Lankan television umpire Asoka de Silva when he appeared run out at 10. He went on to make 43 runs—his top Test score—hitting six fours.—Sapa-AP


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