Bhatti double hands Pakistan the edge in Abu Dhabi


Fri, Jan 03, 2014 - Page 20

Paceman Bilawal Bhatti removed experienced Sri Lanka batsmen Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene off successive deliveries to put Pakistan in command of the first Test yesterday.

The 22-year-old debutant removed Sangakkara (55) with the last ball of his 10th over and then had Jayawardene off the first of his next to leave Sri Lanka at 186-4 in their second innings at the close on the third day.

Junaid Khan (2-46) built on the strikes by dismissing Kaushal Silva for 81, caught behind in the last over of the day.

Before that Silva and Sangakkara added 99 for the second wicket and thwarted Pakistan’s attack in the last session.

Dinesh Chandimal was unbeaten at the close with 24 and Sri Lanka were seven runs ahead with six wickets in hand.

Earlier, Pakistan were dismissed for 383 in their first innings in reply to Sri Lanka’s 204.

Silva’s dismissal has given Pakistan a sniff of victory on the fourth day. He hit 11 boundaries during his 275-minute stay and gave Sri Lanka a confident start of 47 with Dimuth Karunaratne (24).

Silva used his feet well against spinner Saeed Ajmal and looked comfortable against the bowling, reaching his maiden half-century with a single off Junaid.

The experienced Sangakkara brought up his 43rd half-century in Tests with a crisp cut off Bhatti for his sixth boundary.

It was Bhatti (2-65) who seemed to have got Sangakkara on 29 when a sharp delivery trapped the left-hander leg before wicket and English umpire Richard Kettleborough upheld the appeal, but the batsman challenged the decision.

Television replays showed the ball pitched on leg-stump and the umpire had to change the decision.

However, Bhatti had the last laugh as he forced an edge off Sangakkara which was smartly snapped up in the slips by Younis Khan. Sangakkara hit six boundaries during his 98-ball stay.

Next over, Bhatti had a ball rear up from a good length which forced Jayawardene to hand an easy catch to gully for a golden duck.

In the morning, Sri Lanka’s attack brought their team back into the game by taking the last six wickets for 54 runs after Pakistan resumed on 327-4.