|8:00||Himidiriya – Live|
|11:00||Music Runway – Sinhala|
|12:30||Cricker – HL|
|19:30||Whatz on CSN|
|20:00||TBC vs TBC (3rd Placed Team vs 4th Placed Team)|
Sri Lanka 391 (Sangakkara 192, Dilshan 121, Junaid 5-73, Rehman 4-78) trail Pakistan 551 for 6 dec by 160 runs
There were no wickets for Pakistan during the first session, but they came thick and fast after lunch. Junaid Khan completed the second five-wicket haul of his budding career, a commendable effort on this most lifeless of pitches, and Abdur Rehman also contributed three more wickets to the visitors taking a 160-run lead. Kumar Sangakkara missed another double-century during Sri Lanka’s slide, though this time he was not stranded and was to blame for a soft dismissal for 192.
The Sri Lankans lost five wickets for 24 runs after lunch and their scorecard made for bizarre viewing: apart from Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan, who made centuries, only Angelo Mathews and Rangana Herath got into double-figures.
Junaid struck in his first over after the break, getting the ball to straighten on Mathews, on 47, from round the wicket and inducing an edge to the wicketkeeper. He could have had another wicket next ball, but Simon Taufel felt that Prasanna Jayawardene had been struck outside the line of off stump, a marginal decision. Junaid bowling with renewed effort on a hot day.
Sangakkara was undone by the softest of shots. He came down the track and whipped a tame delivery from Rehman straight to square leg. Having been stranded on 199 in Galle, he threw his head up in anguish and stormed back to the dressing room.
The ball was reversing now, and Junaid collected his fifth with a yorker that crashed into the stumps after nicking the inside edge of Nuwan Kulasekara’s bat. The end came quickly after that, with Rehman mopping up.
Pakistan have a first-innings advantage of 160, but with so little time left, the chances are they will simply build on that as best they can.
Lunch Sri Lanka 367 for 5 (Sangakkara 187*, Mathews 46*) trail Pakistan 551 for 6 dec by 184 runs
With Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews steadfast at Sri Lanka’s helm, the SSC Test continued its inexorable progress towards a draw at glacial speed. The final morning in Colombo was hot, with no sign of the clouds that played a significant part in consigning this match to its fate, and Sri Lanka’s batsmen played out a chanceless session. The follow-on was avoided in the last half hour before lunch, and Pakistan’s primary motivation will now be to get off the field.
The possibility of Sri Lankan wickets tumbling on such a lifeless pitch on the final day was fanciful, and very few turned up to watch. Sangakkara resumed on 144 and Mathews was beginning his innings. They focused on risk-free survival. Junaid Khan, who had sparked some life into the Test with two quick wickets on the fourth evening, operated from over the wicket to the left-hand batsman, and attacked the right-hander’s stumps from round the wicket. He beat the bat on occasion, but created no scares.
The off spinner Saeed Ajmal replaced the left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman within the first 30 minutes and Mathews, who had scored 1 off 20 balls, eventually stepped out to hit the day’s first boundary through wide mid-on. Sangakkara got to his 150 by driving Ajmal into the non-striker’s stumps and running the single after the ricochet.
Pakistan created no chances, but they were not loose with the ball. There was nothing happening for them, and when they looked like they were trying to create something, the umpire Simon Taufel nipped it in the bud. Taufel noticed a fielder throwing the ball on the bounce to the wicketkeeper from a short distance, possibly hoping to scuff up one side, and told him not to do it. He had a word with the captain Misbah-ul-Haq as well.
Every now and then Mathews would break the spate of dot balls and singles with muscular shots – a pull off Aizaz Cheema for four, a straight hit and an inside-out loft that carried over the long-off boundary off Rehman. Sangakkara, on the other hand, simply nudged the ball around for the first 18 overs, before finally unfurling a stylish cover drive against Cheema. Another quiet period followed before Sangakkara stepped out to loft Ajmal back over his head for six.
Sangakkara ended the session 13 short of his ninth double-century, Mathews four away from his ninth half-century. They had added 89 for the sixth wicket, and have another 68 overs ahead of them if they want a test of endurance.