Thisara Perera’s brisk half-century for Sri Lanka left Pakistan struggling to catch the hosts after three days of the third and final Test yesterday.
Opening batsman Tharanga Paranavitana (75) and Thilan Samaraweera (73) powered Sri Lanka to match Pakistan’s first-innings score, then Perera’s late whack lifted their total to 337 all out, a lead of 111.
In the half-hour to stumps, Pakistan lost Taufeeq Umar (4) and they were 27-1, trailing by 84 and needing a win to tie the series.
TV replays suggested Nuwan Kulasekera pitched the ball outside Umar’s leg stump, but Umar did not have the benefit of the Decision Review System to make a referral.
Paranavitana and Samaraweera shared a fourth-wicket stand of 143, before Perera’s onslaught when Pakistan took the second new ball after tea.
Sri Lanka were ahead by just four runs when Perera, batting at No. 8, was joined by Kulasekera (33).
The pair shared a Sri Lanka-record 84 runs for the eighth wicket against Pakistan. It bettered the 76 between Aravinda de Silva and Chaminda Vaas made at Colombo’s Sinhalese Sports Club in 1997.
Perera rode some luck as he was dropped on 11 and 22 in scoring 75 off 86 balls, with four boundaries and three sixes.
Umar Gul dropped a hard caught-and-bowled chance and captain Misbah-ul-Haq missed a low catch in the slips, before the left-hander cut loose.
Perera smashed Gul for two boundaries and a six in one over, before hoisting off-spinner Saeed Ajmal (3-66) for two big sixes as sunlight bathed Pallekele Stadium for the first time in three days.
Pakistan left-arm seamer Junaid Khan (5-70) was rewarded for his untiring effort with a five-wicket haul when he clean-bowled Perera.
Earlier, after the second day’s play was washed out, Paranavitana and Samaraweera dug in well in the first session and guided their team to 142 after resuming on 44-3.
Khan, who took two late wickets on the first day in the space of four deliveries, and Gul tested Paranavitana and Samaraweera early yesterday, before the batsmen settled in.
Paranavitana was struck on the helmet by Mohammad Sami’s short-pitched delivery, but it did not shake the confidence of the left-handed opener as he raised his half-century with a punched drive to the cover boundary off part-time seamer Younis Khan.
Samaraweera got a lucky escape just after the break when Younis Khan dropped a straightforward catch at second slip off Gul as the batsman attempted to drive.
Samaraweera added salt to Gul’s wounds when he drove the seamer to the cover boundary in the next over to complete his half-century.
The players left the field for 20 minutes because of rain and the little break favored Pakistan when play resumed.
Ajmal bowled round the wicket and had Samaraweera leg before wicket off a delivery that did not spin much.
Samaraweera hit nine fours in his 160-ball knock.
Khan’s superb seam and swing bowling saw Angelo Mathews giving a sharp catch to Asad Shafiq in the gully, before Paranavitana chopped Ajmal back onto his stumps.
Paranavitana, who struggled in the first two Tests and was in danger of being dropped from the Sri Lanka side, hit eight fours and faced 188 balls.
Pakistan were without wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal, who suffered a hairline fracture of his hand while facing Dilhara Fernando’s short delivery on the first day.
Umar replaced Akmal behind the wickets.
Sri Lanka won the first Test by 209 runs in Galle, before the second Test ended in a draw on a placid wicket at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017
TAIWANESE TO PLAY: Jason Jung faces Frederico Coria in the men’s singles first round today, while in the women’s singles, Hsieh Su-wei is to take on Barbara Haas Novak Djokovic is to renew his love-hate relationship with Roland Garros in the knowledge that it is himself rather than seemingly unsettled 12-time champion Rafael Nadal who could pose the greatest threat to winning a second Paris title and 18th Grand Slam crown. The only man to beat Djokovic this year is Djokovic after the Serb’s hair-trigger temper prompted a sensational disqualification from the US Open. The 33-year-old arrives in the French capital with a 31-1 record this year after his New York brain-fade was followed by a record 36th Masters title in Rome. Djokovic’s 2016 triumph at Roland Garros allowed him to
Taiwan’s Jason Jung was knocked out of the first round of the French Open in straight sets on Sunday, while Andy Murray said it was going to be “difficult” for the former world No. 1 to reach his level of old after he also fell to a lopsided defeat by fellow three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka. Jung fell to a 7-5, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/3) defeat to Argentina’s Federico Coria in 3 hours, 19 minutes at Roland Garros, despite hitting 55 winners. Jung served for both the first and second sets, then failed to convert two set points at 5-4 in