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Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 3rd Test: Pakistan Scalps Hurt Sri Lanka Record Chase

By on July 23, 2009

Pakistan vs Sri Lanka - Danish Kaneria

Sri Lanka 233 and 183 for 3 (Paranavitana 73, Sangakkara 50*) need a further 309 runs to beat Pakistan 299 and 425 for 9 dec (Malik 134, Akmal 74, Herath 5-157)…

Pakistan’s Danish Kaneria picked up two wickets to jolt Sri Lanka’s record victory chase as the hosts closed Thursday’s fourth day of the third test on 183-3, needing 309 more runs on the final day with seven wickets in hand.

Pakistan declared its second innings at 425-9 shortly after the lunch break on day four, and with a 66-run lead from the first innings it set a world record 492-run target for Sri Lanka to win the final test and sweep the series 3-0.

Sri Lanka made a strong start to the run chase before two late scalps put Pakistan back in charge.
Both sides said they were in position to aim for a victory.

“If you analyze the last two test matches, every time we were in winning positions and lost batting second,” Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam said. “This time we are bowling and 309 runs needed, naturally we have a better chance of winning.”

Sri Lanka’s left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, meanwhile, said he thought his teams batsmen would get the job done.

“We are batting well now. If we continue this way there is a good chance of us winning the match,” Herath said. “The pitch is turning but there are no dangers.”

Sri Lanka openers Tharanga Paranavitana and Malinda Warnapura put on 83 for the first wicket before Kaneria broke through, with Warnapura (31) caught by Shoaib Malik at leg-slip.

Then captain Kumar Sangakkara joined Paranavitana in valuable 56-run partnership before Paranavitana (72) was snapped up by Fawad Alam at forward-short-leg off the bowling of Malik. Paranavitana faced 126 balls and hit five boundaries.

Mahela Jayawardene (2) _ top scorer in the first innings _ was caught soon after by wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal off Kaneria.

Sangakkara remained unbeaten at stumps on 50, his 32nd test half-century, with Thilan Samaraweera on 20.
If Sri Lanka wins this match it will take the record for the highest run chase to win a test. West Indies currently holds the record for reaching the highest fourth innings target, 418-7 against Australia at Antigua six years ago.

Pakistan elected to bat on after lunch for just 11 minutes, adding 15 runs before declaring.

Malik was the star of Pakistan’s second innings, scoring 134 and anchoring three key partnerships that lifted Pakistan from a vulnerable 67-4. He spent more than six hours at the crease and faced 240 balls, hitting 12 fours and two sixes.

Resuming the fourth day on 300-5, the visitors lost overnight batsman Akmal for 74 when he was caught by Jayawardene at slip off seam bowler Nuwan Kulasekera.

Akmal’s dismissal ended a record 133-run partnership for the sixth wicket between the two countries. His brisk innings came off just 80 balls and included eight fours and a six.

Malik contributed to a valuable 52-run stand with tailender Umar Gul before he was caught at long-off by substitute fielder Suranga Lakmal off Herath. Gul’s quickfire 46 was his highest test score.

Herath was the best of Sri Lanka’s bowlers in the second innings with figures of 5-157, his second five-wicket haul of the series, which Sri Lanka has already won after claiming the opening two tests.

Veteran seamer Chaminda Vaas was wicketless in the second innings. Playing in his last test, Vaas will finish his career with 355 wickets.

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