Kumar Sangakkara missed a double-century for the second successive match as the rain-hit second Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka ended in a dreary draw in Colombo yesterday.
Sangakkara was dismissed for 192 after helping Sri Lanka avoid the embarrassment of a follow-on on the fifth and final day. The hosts, who began the day needing 74 more runs to make Pakistan bat again, were all out for 391 in the post-lunch session in reply to Pakistan’s 551 for six declared.
Pakistan, leading by 160 runs on first-innings lead, made 100 for two in their second knock when skipper Misbahul Haq closed the innings soon after tea to attempt an unlikely win.
Sri Lanka appeared disinterested in chasing the tough victory target of 261 in 37 overs and were 86 for two in 22 overs when the match was called off at the Sinhalese Sports Club.
Sri Lanka will head for the third and final Test in Pallekele from Sunday with a 1-0 lead, having won the opening encounter in Galle by 209 runs.
‘Boys showed great character’
Misbah said his team’s performance in the match will boost the tourists’ confidence for the last game.
“We came into this Test needing to show a bit of character and I think the boys did just that,” said Misbah. “We’ll take a lot of positives from this game. The batsmen found form with both Hafeez and Azhar getting big hundreds against a solid Sri Lankan bowling attack. The bowlers also did well on a wicket that did not help them at all.”
Misbah was delighted at his young left-arm seamer Junaid Khan, who was named man of the match after picking up five wickets in Sri Lanka’s first-innings.
“Junaid showed a lot of promise with the way he worked up good pace even on this pitch.”
Mahela expected Pakistan’s strong comeback
Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene said a draw was a fair result.
“I’m not surprised at all that Pakistan played so well in this game after losing at Galle,” said Jayawardene. “They’re a quality side and we knew they will come back hard at us and they did just that.”
Jayawardene said he was aware of the importance of the Pallekele Test, where Sri Lanka need a win or a draw to earn them their first series victory in three years.
“I know we need to get the monkey off our backs, we have not won a Test series in a while, but the mindset of the team will be positive going into the last test match at Pallekele.”
“We’ll take a lot of positives from this game.
The batsmen found form
and the bowlers also did well on a wicket that did not help them at all.”
“I’m not surprised at all that Pakistan played so well in this game after losing at Galle. They’re a quality side and we knew they will come back hard at us.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2012.