Cricket: Arnold leads Sri Lanka in bold fightback

Pakistan 398 Sri Lanka 189-4
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The Independent Online
SRI LANKA are poised for a place in the final of the Asian Test Championship after the second day of their match against Pakistan in Lahore. The visitors were 189 for 4 after 48.2 overs at the close of play, needing to reach 300 in 100 overs to edge into the final.

Opener Russell Arnold was unbeaten on 81, and Romesh Kaluwitharana on 20. Pakistan had made 398 in their first innings with opener Wasti Wajahatullah hitting his maiden Test century. "This was indeed a feather in my cap. Scoring a Test hundred is always an honour. The pitch was easy to bat on and I had no problem, though at 99 I had a few butterflies in my stomach," Wasti said.

Sri Lanka, who need seven points from the match to qualify for the final, earned four bowling points by taking nine Pakistani wickets in 100 overs and one batting point with their charge late in the day.

Arnold and the debutant Avishka Gunewardene gave Sri Lanka a flying start of 84 in 14 overs. Gunewardene followed in the mould of the injured Sanath Jayasuriya when he cracked four boundaries in one Fazl-e-Akbar's over and then dispatched three more off fast Shahid Nazir's opening over, before being caught for 43. Mahela Jayawardene was bowled for four and Saqlain Mushtaq then dismissed Marvan Atapattu (23) and captain Hashan Tillakaratne for nine. Earlier Pakistan, resuming at 198 for 3, lost their remaining wickets and scored 200 runs to be all out for 398. Paceman Pramodya Wickremasinghe returned career-best figures of 6 for 103.

Second day of five; Pakistan won toss

PAKISTAN - First Innings

(Overnight: 192-3)

Wajahatullah Wasti run out 133

Yousuf Youhana c and b Kalpage 83

Shahid Afridi c Gunawardene b Kalpage 0

Moin Khan lbw b Wickramasinghe 57

Saqlain Mushtaq c De Silva

b Bandarathilake 15

*Wasim Akram c Arnold

b Wickramasinghe 4

Shahid Nazir c Atapattu

b Wickramasinghe 10

Fazl-e-Akbar not out 15

Extras (2b, 11lb, 4nb) 17

Total (all out, 102.1 overs) 398

Fall (cont): 4-283, 5-283, 6-302, 7-323, 8-339, 9-373.

Bowling: Wickramasinghe 29.1-7-103-6; De Silva 14-0-88-0; Hathurusingha 12-3-29-0; Bandarathilake 31-8-90-1; Kalpage 16-2-75-2.

SRI LANKA - First Innings

R P Arnold not out 81

A Gunawardene c Shahid Nazir

b Fazl-e-Akbar 43

D P M Jayawardene b Saqlain Mushtaq 4

M S Atapattu c Yousuf Youhana

b Saqlain Mushtaq 23

*H P Tillakaratne b Saqlain Mushtaq 9

R S Kaluwitharana not out 20

Extras (5lb, 4nb) 9

Total (for 4, 48.2 overs) 189

Fall: 1-84, 2-91, 3-146, 4-156.

To bat: R S Kalpage, K S C de Silva, U C Hathurusingha, M R C N Bandarathilake, G P Wickramasinghe.

Bowling: Wasim Akram 7-2-21-0; Fazl-e-Akbar 14-2-72-1; Shahid Nazir 8- 1-30-0; Saqlain Mushtaq 13-2-45-3; Shahid Afridi 6.2-1-16-0.

Umpires: R E Koertzen (SA) and D R Shepherd (Eng).

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