Sri Lanka blaze away to a series levelling win
Sri Lanka 315 & 153-3 (Karunaratne 50) beat
Pakistan 138 & 329 (Azhar Ali 117) by seven wickets
Second Test, Colombo, day five
Sri Lanka blazed away to their target of 153 in just the 27th over to level the series 1-1 and break their jinx at the P Sara Oval Stadium in Colombo after three consecutive losses, on day five of the second Test against Pakistan.
Sri Lanka began their second innings this morning after rain made a start of the fourth innings impossible late on day four.
They started aggressively with Dimuth Karunaratne (50) striking a four off the first ball of the innings from Junaid Khan (0-30).
Kithuruwan Vithanage (34) joined the party in the same over with a whip for a four. Mohammad Hafeez (0-20) was brought on for the second over but to no avail.
Zulfiqar Babar (1-42) was struck for two powerful consecutive sixes in the seventh over but had the last laugh when Vithanage slog swept the ball straight to deep midwicket. Sri Lanka were 49 for one in seven overs at that point.
There was some trouble when Kumar Sangakkara (0) was dismissed first ball by Yasir Shah (2-55) gloving a turning delivery from the leg-spinner to short leg.
However, Karunaratne dug in yet again with Angelo Mathews (43 not out) to make sure Pakistan do not have a foot in the door.
In an attempt to beat the rain, Sri Lanka upped the ante further, with Karunaratne and Mathews hitting three fours off Shah’s over in the 12th to take Sri Lanka to 76 for two.
Sri Lanka reached 100 in the 18th over. Karunaratne brought up his fifty with a swivelling pull to deep backward square leg that went for four.
He scored his half-century in just 54 balls, taking Sri Lanka to 121 for two after 20 overs.
Shah struck another vital blow for Pakistan trapping Karunaratne lbw as he missed a pull. At 126 for three after 21 overs, however, it was too little, too late.
Lahiru Thirimanne (20 not out), the vice-captain, saw off the remaining runs along with his skipper in the next six overs.
With a flurry of fours, Sri Lanka managed to reach the target even before lunch, scoring 153 in 26.3 overs.
Sri Lanka level the series 1-1 as they go into the third and final game without the services of their talismanic batsman, Sangakkara, who will play just two more Test matches against India before retiring.
© Cricket World 2015