COLOMBO, June 29, 2015 (MAMOSA Report) — It was Dhammika Prasad’s four-wicket haul on day four of the second Test that set up Sri Lanka’s series-levelling win against Pakistan in Colombo.
Thereafter, Sri Lanka needed little more than 26 overs to beat Pakistan by seven-wicket in the second Test on Monday.
Dimuth Karunaratne hit 50 off 56 balls to square the three-match series.
Chasing 153 to win, the hosts made light of a delayed start of 30 minutes due to a wet outfield and raced to victory in 26.3 overs before lunch on the fifth and final day at the P. Sara Oval.
Karunaratne and skipper Angelo Mathews added a brisk 72 for the third wicket after two wickets had fallen with the score on 49 to raise Pakistan’s hopes.
Mathews remained unbeaten on 43, sharing a fourth-wicket partnership of 32 with Lahiru Thirimanne, who hit the winning boundary off leg-spinner Yasir Shah.
The win ended Sri Lanka’s three-match losing streak at the P. Sara Oval and set up a potentially thrilling finale when the third Test begins at the Pallekele stadium near the popular hill resort of Kandy on Friday.
Mathews said it was a good comeback from his team after losing the first Test in Galle by 10 wickets.
“The boys showed a lot of character after that defeat,” he said, adding it was important to go for quick runs in the second innings because of the threat of rain.
“We wanted to bat positively because we were not sure about the weather,” he said. “We gave the boys the green signal to play freely because it is easy to get bogged down.”
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said being bowled out for 138 on the first day after electing to bat had cost his team dearly.
“That session from lunch to tea on the first day really dented us because we lost all our main batsmen in that period,” he said. “It made all the difference in the match.
“The batting in the first innings is not consistent enough and that is a big worry for us. We put up a big score at Galle and here we collapsed from 74 for three to 138 all out.
“The bowling has been good, especially Yasir who now has 54 wickets from his first nine matches. He is a match-winner, but the injury to Wahab (Riaz) was a big blow.”
Pakistan pace spearhead Wahab suffered a hairline fracture of his left hand while batting on the first day and has been ruled out of the series.
“Hopefully we will recover from this loss and try and win the final Test,” said Misbah.