Pakistan starts off well, but it's Sri Lanka on top
By Krunal, MyCricketHighlights Cricket Writer
2nd Test: Pakistan vs Sri Lanka at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai, Oct 06 - Oct 10, 2017, Cricket highlights
Sri Lanka have stamped their authority on this match, at least with the bat in hands. Now, if their bowlers can bowl Pakistan out cheaply in their first innings, they would have a very strong chance of doing that no other team has been able to do – that is to hand Pakistan their first-ever series defeat in UAE. However, there is a long time left in this Test and the hosts cannot be counted out so early. Their openers are off to a steady start, but they still have a long way to go as they trail by 431 runs.
The day once again belonged to Sri Lankan batsmen, who were much more positive in their intent than yesterday. Once their skipper was dismissed by Yasir Shah, the new batsman in Niroshan Dickwella gave his team the much-required boost by scoring the runs at a terrific strike-rate. Whether it was against the leggie or against the left-arm quicks, the wicket-keeper batsman was equally good and played some eye-catching shots on both sides of the wicket.
From the other end, Karunaratne played his natural game and brought up his highest score in Tests. The two left-handers ended the first session on a positive note as both of them remained unbeaten and had got Sri Lanka past the 350-run mark.
Soon after the Tea break, the 88-run partnership was broken by Mohammad Abbas, who got Dickwella caught behind for 52. The hosts relived a huge sigh of relief and would have hoped to restrict Sri Lanka under 450, but that didn’t happen as the Sri Lankan batsmen got involved in another partnership. This time around, it was the pair of Dilruwan Perera and Karunaratne, who took the game further away from Pakistan by adding 59 runs for the sixth wicket.
Perera batted aggressively like Dickwella and scored the majority of his runs in boundaries. He was particularly severe against Yasir Shah, who looked tired after bowling long spells and gifted too many bad deliveries for the batsman to put away. He scored his first 40 runs in just 32 balls and slowed down just a bit while approaching his fifty.
Pakistan were finally able to get rid of Karunaratne, who fell just 4 runs short of a well-deserved double hundred. It was an excellent innings from the Sri Lankan opener, who held the innings together by batting for almost 10 hours. Post the dismissal of Karunaratne, Perera and Herath ensured that Sri Lanka get past the 450-run mark. The former also completed his fifty, but soon after reaching there, he was cleaned up Yasir Shah.
After the dinner break, it took only 45 minutes for Pakistan to get rid of the tail as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 482. Yasir Shah picked up two more wickets and finished with a six-for. It was also his fifth consecutive five-wicket haul in Test matches.
The Pakistani openers had to survive 18 overs, under lights, before the close of play to ensure that they remained unbeaten to come out and bat tomorrow. They were lucky enough in doing so as initially Sami Aslam survived a run-out scare and then in the last over of the day, Shan Masood got away with a close LBW call. Had Sri Lanka opted for DRS, Masood would have been given out as replays showed that the ball would have crashed into the leg-stump. They didn't and as a result, Pakistan finished the day on 51 without any loss of a wicket.