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July 21, 2009

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Sri Lanka strikes back with late Pakistan wickets

SRI Lanka hit back with three wickets for two runs as Pakistan reached 289-7 at stumps on the first day of the third and final test in Colombo yesterday.

Khurram Manzoor and Mohammad Yousuf built a 167-run partnership for the third wicket to push Pakistan on from 36-2 after Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara won the toss and put Pakistan in to bat.

Left-arm seamer Thilan Thushara dealt two quick blows in the morning session when opener Fawad Alam was caught behind by Tillakaratne Dilshan for 16 runs with the total on 34. Two runs later Pakistan captain Younis Khan dragged a ball on to his stumps for two.

Manzoor and Yousuf dominated the Sri Lanka attack for most of the first session and the entire middle session before Manzoor was out for 93, caught at slip by Mahela Jayawardene off Chaminda Vaas.

He faced 197 balls and hit 10 fours before falling short of his maiden test century.

Yousuf did not last long without Manzoor and was run out for 90 though not before scoring his 7,000th test run in his 82nd test.

His bad call for a second run off an overthrow deprived him of his 25th test hundred.

His runs came off 146 balls and included seven fours and a six.

Misbah-ul-Haq and Shoaib Malik held the innings together with a 75-run partnership before Thushara returned to trap Malik LBW for 45 with the total on 285. His dismissal triggered a collapse as Misbah (27) and Umar Gul were out in quick succession to leave the visitors on 287-7.

Thushara returned figures of 3-77 while seamer Nuwan Kulasekera recorded 2-43.

Sri Lanka, already leading the three-match series 2-0, is aiming to complete a clean sweep while Pakistan battles to salvage pride.

The match is a farewell test for Vaas, who was included in the Sri Lanka XI in place of out-of-form spinner Ajantha Mendis.


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