Sri Lanka set 153 to win after patient Azhar ton

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A patient century by Azhar Ali kept up Pakistan’s fight but Sri Lanka’s pacers struck at regular intervals on the fourth day to restrict the lead to 152 in the second Test in Colombo. Pakistan was bowled out for 329 on Sunday (June 28), with Dhammika Prasad (4 for 92) being the protagonist for Sri Lanka. He was ably supported by Dushmant Chameera, the debutant, who ended with 3 for 53. Sri Lanka was set a modest target of 153 to square the three-match series before rain washed out the final session. A number of Pakistani batsmen got starts but it was only Azhar (117 off 308 balls) who converted it into something substantial. The right-handed batsman, put down by… Read More →

Kumar Sangakkara set to retire

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Sri Lanka’s batting great Kumar Sangakkara on Saturday ended speculation about his future, saying he will retire during the home series against India in August. “This is my time to call it a day,” Sangakkara, 37, told reporters on the sidelines of the second Test against Pakistan at the P. Sara Oval in Colombo. The left-hander said he will play two of the three Tests against India that will take place in Sri Lanka in August. The exact dates and venues have not yet been announced. Sangakkara, the current world leading Test run-getter, said he will also skip the third and final Test of the ongoing series against Pakistan starting in Pallekele on July 3. “I wanted to retire after… Read More →

Pakistan fights back with Shehzad, Azhar fifties

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Sri Lanka struck once in a curtailed final session even as Pakistan continued to fight in its second innings as it sought to eat into the first-innings deficit on Saturday (June 27), the third day of the second Test at P Sara Oval in Colombo. In the 12 overs that were possible after tea, Pakistan collected 42 runs for the loss of Ahmed Shehzad for 69. When stumps were drawn after bad light forced an early finish, Pakistan was 171 for 2, still trailing by six runs. Azhar Ali, on 64, was at the crease, with Younus Khan (23 not out) giving him company. Pakistan lost Shehzad off the very first ball of the session when the opener misread the… Read More →

ICC Annual Conference concludes in Barbados

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The ICC Annual Conference concluded in Barbados with the ICC, IDI and IBC Board meetings, which were held under the chairmanship of Mr Narayanaswami Srinivasan. Among the discussions held, decisions made and reports received were: ICC Cricket Committee recommendations The ICC Board noted amendments to the ICC playing conditions, which were approved by the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee on Monday and Tuesday. These playing conditions will come into effect for series starting on or after 5 July 2015. The key changes were: o No compulsory catchers in overs 1-10 (ODIs) o No batting Powerplay between overs 15-40 (ODIs) o Five fielders allowed outside the 30-yard circle in overs 41-50 (ODIs) o All “no balls”, not just “foot faults”, to result… Read More →

Sri Lanka go 166 ahead despite Yasir five-for

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Well disciplined bowling from Pakistan meant Sri Lanka undid much of the good work from the first day of the second Test at the P Sara Oval in Colombo, ending Day 2 on 304 for 9. Kaushal Silva was the highest scorer, his 80 and Angelo Mathews’s 77 standing out as Sri Lanka went from 191 for 3 to 231 for 6 by tea, and then lost three more wickets by close of play on Friday (June 26). At stumps, Sri Lanka was only 166 ahead of Pakistan’s first-innings total of 138. Pakistan, which was without the services of Wahab Riaz – ruled out of the series with a fractured knuckle in his left hand – could have had to… Read More →

Sri Lanka comfortable after Kaushal five-for

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Sri Lanka put up a solid show with the bat to extend its advantage over Pakistan after an impressive show with the ball on the opening day of the second Test at the P Sara Oval in Colombo on Thursday (June 25). After bowling Pakistan out for 138, courtesy Tharindu Kaushal and Dhammika Prasad, Sri Lanka reached 70 for 1 from 32 overs at stumps, trailing Pakistan by 68 runs. Kaushal Silva and Kumar Sangakkara were unbeaten on 21 and 18 respectively to steady the ship after Junaid Khan got rid of Dimuth Karunaratne for 28. After Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat, Prasad, Angelo Mathews and Dushmantha Chameera – the debutant paceman – all found appreciable bounce… Read More →

Yasir’s seven-for takes Pakistan to ten-wicket win

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Chasing a target of 90, Pakistan cruised to a ten-wicket victory against Sri Lanka in the final session of the fifth day of the first Test in Galle on Sunday (June 21), after Yasir Shah’s 7 for 76 had the home side in trouble in the first two sessions of the day. Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad put on 92 for no loss in 11.2 overs, hitting 12 boundaries between them, to hand Pakistan a 1-0 lead in the three-match Test series. It was Pakistan’s first win in Sri Lanka since 2006, and it also took it past India for the most number of Test victories by an Asian nation – 123 in 390 games to India’s 122 in 488… Read More →

Shafiq, Sarfaraz inspire stirring fightback

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A patient century from Asad Shafiq and aggressive half-centuries from Sarfraz Ahmed and Zulfiqar Babar put Pakistan in a strong position at the end of the fourth day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle on Saturday (June 20). After Pakistan was bowled out for 417, a lead of 117, Sri Lanka was 63 for 2 at stumps, trailing by 54 runs with Dimuth Karunaratne on 36 and Dilruwan Perera on nought. Pakistan started the day on a tricky 118 for 5, but Sarfraz, along with a steady Shafiq at the other end, helped the visiting side wrest the momentum. Sarfraz set the tone with an 86-ball 96, Shafiq played sheet anchor through the day for a determined… Read More →

Silva, Prasad keep Sri Lanka on top

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Rain offered Pakistan some respite at the end of the third day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle on Friday (June 19), but the visiting side was still in a spot of bother at 118 for 5, trailing by 182 runs. The umpires called off play eight overs early, with the match to resume on Saturday at 9.45 am local time. After Sri Lanka was bowled out for 300, opener Kaushal Silva’s 125 the cornerstone of the innings, Dhammika Prasad led the fight back for the home side, grabbing 2 for 24. Mohammad Hafeez fell off the last ball of the first over after surviving an lbw appeal off the previous delivery. Prasad pitched the next ball… Read More →

Silva holds steady as Pakistan hits back

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Kaushal Silva held Sri Lanka’s innings together, ending the second day – effectively the first after Wednesday’s play was washed out – of the first Test against Pakistan in Galle unbeaten on 80 with the team total at 178 for 3 after a 64-over day on Thursday (June 18). Silva and Kumar Sangakkara had taken Sri Lanka to a strong 123 for 1 by tea, but Sri Lanka lost Sangakkara and then Lahiru Thirimanne in the final session to concede the advantage somewhat. Sangakkara was lured into the drive outside off by Wahab Riaz and only managed an edge through to Younis Khan, the lone slip fieldsman, after scoring 50. Thirimanne then failed to time an attempted stroke over the… Read More →

Sri Lanka, Pakistan set to resume battle

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Sri Lanka and Pakistan will lock horns for the fourth time in two years when the first Test of a three-Test series begins in Galleon Wednesday (June 17). Both sides know each other quite intimately, this being their sixth series in as many years. The last of those series also took place in Sri Lanka a year ago, the host winning both Tests to ensure Pakistan remained winless on Sri Lankan soil since 2006. Pakistan’s hopes of breaking that streak was boosted following encouraging performances during the drawn three-day tour-game against Sri Lanka Board President’s XI which ended on Saturday. Ahmed Shehzad, back in the 15-man Test squad after being overlooked for the Bangladesh series last month, scored a fine 82… Read More →