Pakistan on course to take the lead
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Ground:Galle International Stadium, Galle
Scorecard:Sri Lanka v Pakistan
Player:NT Paranavitana, Younis Khan, Mohammad Aamer, Younis Khan, NT Paranavitana
Event:Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2009

DateLine: 6th July 2009


Mohammad Aamer's fantastic debut continued as he ripped apart the Sri Lankan batting line-up to put Pakistan on course to take lead in the first match of the series. Younis Khan's dream spell with the ball continued as he picked up a couple of crucial wickets to help his main bowlers to maintain the pressure. Early morning showers had delayed the match by 90 minutes.


Umar Gul was right on the money in the first over of the day when he got Warnapura to go hard at a good length ball which moved a shade away to, which he duly edged to Younis Khan at second slip. Herath hung on gamely with some solid defence mixed with the usual tailender’s heaves which missed the ball by just a whisker. Paranavitana who was held back by Sangakkara so as to protect him last evening got going by hitting Gul for boundaries. Paranavitana and Herath proved to be the thorn in the Pakistani flesh as Herath was dour while Paranavitana was going for his shots. Both Rauf and Younis bowled tight spells, getting movement, drying up runs, but not getting wickets. In the penultimate over of the session Younis Khan slipped in a deceptive fuller delivery, to beat Herath’s prod and trapped him leg before.


Post-lunch a fiery spell from Mohammad Aamer and steady bowling from Younis Khan rattled Sri Lanka who looked fairly comfortable in the middle. Aamer swung the ball both ways at good pace, and picked up the wickets of Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Paranavitana. In the fourth over after the interval, Paranavitana got one that moved away from him and took the edge. Jayawardene hung his bat out lamely to a ball that moved away sharply. Sangakkara then edged another swinging delivery. Samaraweera and Dilshan counterattacked and a flurry of boundaries eased the Lankan nerves as the two added 37 runs. Younis Khan in his second over of the new spell got Dilshan as he chased a wide and full delivery sending it to Manzoor at second slip. Saeed Ajmal got Samaraweera with a well-disguised straighter one which he edged to Misbah at slips.


Angelo Mathews and Nuwan Kulasekara shared a 35 run partnership for the eighth wicket, but just after tea Mathews got a short and wide one from Rauf which he slashed in the air to third man where he found Salman Butt. Kulasekara and Thilan Thushara took the lead past 150 and looked for more, but Ajmal plucked out the remaining couple of wickets to set Pakistan a target of 168. Salman Butt and Khurram Manzoor were watchful against the new ball as they added 36 for the first wicket. Manzoor edged an accurate Ajantha Mendis to the slips and then he was joined by an out of touch Younis Khan who was trapped before the stumps by a sharp inswinger from Mathews. Butt and Mohammad Yousuf played out the nervous period till stumps as they brought the target below 100 runs leaving them 97 to chase with two days remaining.