Junaid Khan Excels To Hand Pakistan Initiative
Sri Lanka 197 (Mathews 52no, Junaid Khan 5-38) v
First Test, Abu Dhabi, day one
Pakistan enjoyed an excellent first day of the first Test against Sri Lanka as they closed on 27 without loss having won the toss and bowled their rivals out for 197.
Sri Lanka made steady progress early before losing six wickets for 65 runs in the afternoon to hand the initiative to Pakistan, for whom left-arm pacer Junaid Khan picked up five for 38.
Angelo Mathews fought hard to make an unbeaten 52 and help Sri Lanka recover from 114 for seven but this was unquestionably Pakistan's day.
It did not look that way when Tharanga Paranavitana (37) and Lahiru Thirimanne (20) were putting on 48 for the first wicket but Pakistan struck shortly before lunch to have Thirimanne well caught by Younus Khan at slip off Saeed Ajmal.
Soon after the break, Kumar Sangakkara (2) was brilliantly caught by wicket-keeper Adnan Akmal as Aizaz Cheema got one to leave the left-hander before Akmal's second sharp catch - this one taken as Paranavitana tried to pull Umar Gul - left Sri Lanka at 79 for three.
Mahela Jayawardene (28) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (19) both crashed the ball through the covers for four to get off the mark and took the score on to 112, whereupon Sri Lanka lost three wickets with no further addition.
First, Dilshan seemingly edged Ajmal to Akmal and was given out although replays and the batsman's reaction suggested that the ball didn't touch his bat.
Then Jayawardene edged Junaid to Mohammad Hafeez at slip who took the catch at the third attempt after a juggle and three balls later Prasanna Jayawardene was sent on his way by a searing yorker that burst through his defences.
Junaid was unable to take a hat-trick but just two runs had been added when he had Rangana Herath (0) trapped in front to leave Sri Lanka in trouble.
Mathews was up to the fight, lookingeasily looking the most comfortable of all the batsmen on show and he was given support by Suranga Lakmal, who made a career-best 18, and Chanaka Welagedara, who made 11, the pair contributing to 54 and 25-run partnerships which helped Mathews through to his half-century.
He hit four fours and one big six over midwicket en route to his fifth Test half-century before Lakmal edged Gul to Hafeez and Junaid dismissed Welagedara and debutant Nuwan Pradeep for one.
Pakistan openers Hafeez (17 not out) and Taufeeq Umar (8 not out) then ensured that Pakistan completed the day on a positive note by surviving eight overs before stumps with no real alarms.
© Cricket World 2011