Lanka strike late to stymie Pak

Manzoor, Yousuf fall in nervous nineties in final Test at Cololmbo

smart work Tillakaratne Dilshan takes a sharp catch to get rid of Misbah-ul-Haq on day one of the third Test. reuters

Pakistan, sent in to bat in overcast conditions by Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara, collapsed to 34 for two within the first hour as left-arm seamer Thilan Thushara grabbed two wickets in four balls.

Manzoor (93) and Yousuf (90) lifted the beleaguered tourists with a 167-run partnership for the third wicket as Pakistan moved to 289 for seven by stumps at the Sinhalese sports club here.

Manzoor, a 23-year-old from Karachi, fell short of his maiden Test century in only his fifth match, while the seasoned Yousuf missed his 25th ton after the pair had stayed together for more than a session.

Shoaib Malik (45) and Misbah-ul Haq (27) put on 75 for the fifth wicket to carry the total to 285 for four before the second new ball taken shortly before stumps claimed three wickets for two runs.

Thushara trapped Malik leg-before for his third wicket of the day, before Nuwan Kulasekera had Misbah caught behind and bowled Umar Gul to open up the Pakistan tail.
Pakistan are hoping to deny Sri Lanka a clean sweep of the series after losing the first Test in Galle on the fourth morning and the second at the P Sara Oval here in three days.

Pakistan captain Younis Khan hoped the tailenders would be able to take the total to 325-330, which will put Sri Lanka under pressure. “The second new ball created problems for us, but we must remember that Sri Lanka have not scored 300 in any of the matches,” he said.

“I had hoped that either Misbah or Malik would be there till the end, but I am confident we will not fold up easily tomorrow. The wicket here is quite similar to the ones in the previous Tests, but the ball skids a bit more and that will not make batting easy later in the game.”

Openers Fawad Alam and Manzoor had put on 34 within the first hour when Thushara struck twice in his third over.

Left-handed Alam, who hit a brilliant 168 on debut in the previous Test, made 16 when he edged Thushara to wicket-keeper Tillakaratne Dilshan.

Three balls later, Younis chopped a delivery wide of the off-stump on to his stumps after making two.

It was left to the retiring Chaminda Vaas to break the threatening third-wicket stand after tea when he had Manzoor edging a catch to Mahela Jayawardene in the slips.
Vaas, 35, who was ignored for the first two matches, replaced spinner Ajantha Mendis in the team a day after saying he will retire from Test cricket once the series has ended.

Yousuf himself departed three overs later in unfortunate circumstances when he was run out attempting a second run following an overthrow.

SCORE BOARD
PAKISTAN (I Innings):
Manzoor c Jayawardene b Vaas    93
Alam c Dilshan b Thushara    16
Younis b Thushara    2
Yousuf (run out)    90
Misbah c Dilshan b Kulasekara    27
Malik lbw Thushara    45
Akmal (batting)    1
Gul b Kulasekara    2
Kaneria (batting)    1
Extras (B-10, NB-2)    12
Total: (for 7 wkts, 86 overs)    289
Fall of wickets: 1-34, 2-36, 3-203, 4-210, 5-285, 6-285, 7-287.
Bowling: Vaas 20-6-43-1, Kulasekara 14-1-43-2, Thushara 19-2-77-3, Herath 23-4-76-0, Mathews 8-2-31-0, Jayawardene 2-0-9-0.

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