Cricket

Greenish pitch delights Pak, SL

2012-07-07 15:22
Kumar Sangakkara (Gallo Images)

Pallekele - Pakistan and Sri Lanka begin the third and final Test on Sunday seeking an exciting finale on what appears to be a result-oriented wicket.

Both sides were relieved that the greenish pitch looked different from the lifeless track prepared for the rain-hit second Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo, which ended in a tame draw.

"That was a boring test – flat wicket and lots of rain – but this one will be different," Sri Lanka's vice-captain Angelo Mathews told reporters at the Pallekele International Stadium on Saturday.

"There will be bounce and movement at the start and the wicket will take spin as the game goes on. Hopefully we will get a result if the rains stay away."

Sri Lanka, who won the first test in Galle, are hoping to record their first series win in three years since defeating New Zealand 2-0 at home in 2009.

Skipper Mahela Jayawardene insisted the hosts will go all out to win the final test even though a draw would be enough to seal the series.

"We need to go with the intention of winning the test," Jayawardene wrote on the Cricinfo website. "Going in with a negative mindset and playing for a draw will never work.

"Pakistan are a quality outfit, and if we don't play to win, then we cannot take up the challenge posed by them. I will tell my guys to play hard cricket and be positive.

"It will definitely be a sporting pitch and livelier than the one in the previous test, but a lot will depend on the weather."

Light rain has been forecast for next week, but the groundstaff were confident the weather would not interfere with the cricket.

The Pallekele stadium, built in 2009 on the outskirts of the hill town of Kandy, has hosted two drawn tests so far, both of which were interrupted by bad weather.

Pakistan vice-captain Mohammad Hafeez, who scored 196 in the second test, hoped dry weather would enable the tourists to seek a series-levelling win.

"No one wants another rain-affected game," said Hafeez as rain delayed Pakistan's training session on Saturday.

"We can't win the series, but we will return home happy if we can win this match and draw the series.

"The morale of the team is high after Colombo and we are ready for the challenge ahead."

The batting flourished during the Colombo test with Azhar Ali joining Hafeez as the team's other century-maker in a first innings total of 551-6 declared after being sent in to bat.

Pakistan then dismissed the hosts for 391, grabbing the last five wickets for 21 runs, after centuries from Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan had lifted Sri Lanka to a comfortable 236-1.

Young left-arm seamer Junaid Khan claimed a five-wicket haul on a pitch that offered him no help and was deservedly named the man of the match in the batsmen-dominated test.

Pakistan had enjoyed an impressive run before the current series, winning seven of their last nine tests, including a brilliant 3-0 whitewash of top-ranked England earlier this year.

But their hopes of clinching a 1-1 scoreline rest on how quickly they can dismiss Sangakkara, who scored an unbeaten 199 in the first test and 192 in the second.

Read more on:    sri lanka  |  pakistan  |  cricket
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Black Caps clinch nervy win

2014-12-17 21:29

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

LOL treadmill fail!

Watch this hilarious clip! We think this man should rather be running outside this summer!

 
 

I love summer.24

Google’s top searches of 2014
10 of the strangest Christmas traditions around the world
2014's best drone videos
7 drinks you need to make this party season
 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

Which cricketer is currently of most value to the Proteas' Test team?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.