Sri Lanka secure series victory – 3rd Test vs. Pakistan drawn

Pakistan first innings 226 (Asad Shafiq 75, Misbah-Ul-Haq 40, Thisara Perera 4-63) second innings 380-8 declared (Azhar Ali 136, Asad Shafiq 100*, Rangana Herath 4-99) drew with Sri Lanka first innings 337 (Tharanga Paranavitana 75, Thisara Perera 75, Junaid Khan 5-70) and 195-4 (Kumar Sangakkara 74*, Dinesh Chandimal 65, Saeed Ajmal 3-50).

The Lankan Lions succeeded in drawing the third and final Test hence won the much required three match series 1-0 against a strong looked Pakistan side.

Pakistan managed 226 runs in the first innings and declared their second innings at 380 for the loss of 8 wickets. Sri Lanka responded with 337 in the first innings and 195 after losing four wickets when the two captains decided to call it a day.

Asad Shafiq - Brilliant unbeaten century in the second innings
Asad Shafiq – Brilliant unbeaten century in the second innings

Asad Shafiq was declared ‘Player of the match’ for his unbeaten ton in the second innings and responsible innings of 75 runs in the first.

Kumar Sangakkara was declared ‘Player of the series’ for his outstanding batting performance. He thrashed 490 runs at an awesome average of 163.33, the best of unbeaten 199 with two centuries and one fifty.

The third Test came to an end on Thursday, July 12, 2012, at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

Earlier, Pakistan started their second innings at 299 for the loss of eight wickets in 104 overs, Asad Shafiq and Adnan Akmal were at the wicket with 55 and 0 runs respectively. Both batsmen initiated the innings on the fifth day with responsibility without taking any chances and kept the score board moving with occasional boundaries.

They gathered 11 runs in the 123rd over with a couple of fours and a total of 350 runs also appeared on board. Asad Shafiq was the most attacking of the two and smashed his second Test century on the fourth ball of the 129th over which was highly applauded by his team mates, team management, Sri Lankan players and the crowd present in the stadium. He remained unbeaten for 100, Adnan Akmal was at the other end for 35 and Pakistan touched 380 runs as Misbah-Ul-Haq declared the second innings.

Rangana Herath was the chief wicket taker with four, Dilhara Fernando three and Nuwan Kulasekara held one wicket.

Pakistan set a target of 270 runs for Sri Lanka to win the match in 71 overs as Tharanga Paranavitana and Dinesh Chandimal opened the innings. They looked like playing positive cricket as Chandimal punished Umar Gul for three fours in the fifth over and the total was escalated to 44 runs in the first 10 overs. The Islanders lost their first wicket when Paranavitana was caught smartly by Younis Khan in the second slip off Junaid Khan on the second ball of the next over for 22.

The most dangerous batsman against Pakistan, Kumar Sangakkara, came in next and tried to enhance the run rate while Chandimal achieved his fifty in the 28th over. The first hundred of the innings also appeared on board in the same over and the score reached 126 in the 36th. Dinesh Chandimal was gone for 65 in the very next over which was the last before the tea interval.

The second wicket was lost at 132 and the skipper, Mahela Jayawardene was caught at short fine leg by Mohammad Hafeez off Saeed Ajmal for 11 after adding 18 runs in the score. Kumar Sangakkara attained his fifty in the 51st over as the new batsman Thilan Samaraweera was clean bowled by Saeed Ajmal for 10 runs.

Sri Lanka surrendered for chasing and they tried to hang on the wicket without taking any further risks. Both captains decided to end the game after the 62nd over of the innings which was bowled by Saeed Ajmal. The home team managed 195 runs with six wickets in hand, Kumar Sangakkara was at the crease for 74 and Angelo Mathews was at the other end with one off 18 balls.

Saeed Ajmal was the main wicket taker and grabbed three whereas Junaid Khan claimed one wicket.

The third and final Test ended in a draw as Sri Lankan team was pleased by winning the series 1-0. It was the first time after 2009 that they clinched the series and Pakistan lost the series after losing 3-1 against England in 2010.


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