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Sri Lanka Close In On Victory

Mahela Jayawardene waves farewell
Mahela Jayawardene waves farewell after his last Test innings
©REUTERS / Action Images
Sri Lanka celebrate after taking the wicket of Asad Shafiq late on day four
Sri Lanka celebrate after taking the wicket of Asad Shafiq late on day four
©REUTERS / Action Images

Sri Lanka 320 & 282 (Sangakkara 59) v
Pakistan 330 & 127-7 (Herath 4-46)
Second Test, Colombo, day four

Mahela Jayawardene signed off from Test cricket with his 50th half-century before Sri Lanka reduced Pakistan to 127 for seven in pursuit of a target of 271 on day four of the second and final Test in Colombo.

Pakistan bowled with great heart to dismiss Sri Lanka for 282 in their second innings with just three fit specialist bowlers but struggled when it came to batting.

After Kumar Sangakkara (59) and Jayawardene (54) extended their final Test partnership to 113, three wickets apiece for Wahab Riaz and Saeed Ajmal left Pakistan 271 to chase.

However, with Rangana Herath following up his nine-wicket haul in the first innings by taking four wickets for 36, Sri Lanka closed just three wickets away from a 2-0 series win.

And with Junaid Khan not expected to bat, two more wickets should be enough to give Jayawardene a winning farewell.

Sri Lanka resumed the day 165 runs ahead and it did not take long for Jayawardene to reach his half-century but it was not long before both he and Sangakkara were dismissed by Ajmal.

Angelo Mathews made an unbeaten 43 and useful runs from Niroshan Dickwella (21) and Dhammika Prasad (19) helped extend Sri Lanka's lead.

Left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman returned two for 97 while Prasad and Chanaka Welagedara (0) were both run out.

Pakistan's run chase started appallingly and they were quickly reeling at 50 for five, facing a battle just to last out the day.

Prasad had Khurram Manzoor (10) caught behind and Ahmed Shehzad trapped in front before Herath continued to assert his dominance over the Pakistan batting line-up.

His 10th wicket of the match came when Azhar Ali edged to Jayawardene - who else? - at slip for 10 and the pair combined again to see off Misbah-ul-Haq for three.

When Younus Khan (8) was trapped in front to the left-armer, it looked increasingly likely that the game was heading for a swift conclusion.

However, Asad Shafiq made 32 and Sarfraz Ahmed, whose century in the first innings handed Pakistan a 10-run lead on first innings, scored an unbeaten 38 to at least force the game into a final day.

Not before Herath had Asad Shafiq stumped by Dickwella and Dilruwan Perera trapped Rehman in front for four, though, as Sri Lanka got even closer to sending off Jayawardene with a win in his final Test before retiring from five-day cricket.

Sri Lanka lead the series 1-0 after a seven-wicket win in Galle.

© Cricket World 2014