Late strikes by Bilawal Bhatti put Pakistan in pole

Paceman Shaminda Eranga finished with 3-80 while left-arm spinner Rangana Herath took 3-90.

Written by Associated Press | Abu Dhabi | Published:January 3, 2014 3:26 am

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

The 22-year-old debutant removed Sangakkara (55) with the last ball of his tenth over and then had Jayawardene off the first of his next to leave Sri Lanka at 186-4 in their second innings at close on the third day. Junaid (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 which had thwarted Pakistan’s pace-cum-spin attack in the last session.

Sri Lanka,who conceded a 179-run lead in the first innings,are now seven runs ahead with six wickets in hand. Bhatti forced an edge off Sangakkara which was 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 first-ball duck.

Earlier,Pakistan were dismissed for 383 runs in their first innings in reply to Sri Lanka’s 204. Silva’s dismissal has given Pakistan a sniff of victory on fourth day. He hit 11 boundaries during his 275-minute stay and gave Sri Lanka a confident start of 47 with Dimuth Karunaratne (24). In the morning,Sri Lanka’s pace and spin attack brought their team back in the game by taking the last six wickets for an addition of just 54 runs after Pakistan resumed the day at 327-4.

Paceman Shaminda Eranga finished with 3-80 while left-arm spinner Rangana Herath took 3-90. Skipper Misbah-ul Haq scored 135,being last man out,caught at long-off off from spinner Herath. Pakistan collapsed in the first session,with Herath claiming three of the last four wickets in ten balls.

brief scores:Sri Lanka 204 & 186/4 in 61.3 overs (K Silva 81,K Sangakkara 55; Junaid Khan 2/46,B Bhatti 2/65) vs Pakistan 383 (Y Khan 136,Misbah-ul-Haq 135; R Herath 3/93,S Eranga 3/80)

Malinga dropped

The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is likely to drop pacer Lasith Malinga from the national squad to tour Bangladesh as a means of sending a strong signal to the star bowler over his indifferent attitude towards training and poor performance.

Following Sri Lanka’s 2-3 loss in the recent ODI series against Pakistan in the UAE ,in which Malinga had only taken six wickets while conceding over six an over,the SLC officials had felt that the team’s performance was extremely below par. Sources told ‘Daily Mirror’ that a lot of changes could be made in the team by infusing new players into the system through a gradual rotation system of resting seniors and trying out new talents in their place.

Malinga reportedly missed most of the fitness regimes citing knee injury and had also refused to look for other methods of fitness.

New review system tested

The International Cricket Council is testing a new review system for TV umpires that aims to improve the accuracy and reduce the time taken to reach their decisions. The Officiating Replay System (ORS),developed by Hawk-Eye,is being assessed by former elite panel umpire Simon Taufel,who is acting as a shadow umpire on the ICC’s behalf in the ongoing Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka Test match.

Without influencing the decision making of TV umpire Sundaram Ravi,who has just one monitor and one camera angle of the onfield action at Sheikh Zayed Stadium,Taufel is able to view the direct feeds from all 16 cameras at the ground on two giant screens.

The ORS aims to help TV umpires make better decisions,more quickly,particularly when it comes to,for example,adjudging a no-ball or a clean catch.

Currently,the third umpire asks for a particular angle from the broadcaster before giving his verdict. With ORS,he could see all the angles for himself in one go,without having to wait several minutes for the broadcaster’s feed.

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