SL beat Pakistan to level series

2015-06-29 08:59
Dimuth Karunaratne (AFP)

Colombo - Dimuth Karunaratne hit 50 off 56 balls as Sri Lanka trounced Pakistan by seven wickets in the second Test in Colombo on Monday to square the three-match series 1-1.

Chasing 153 to win, the hosts made light of a delayed start of 30 minutes due to a wet outfield and raced to victory in 26.3 overs before lunch on the fifth and final day at the P. Sara Oval.

Karunaratne and skipper Angelo Mathews added a brisk 72 for the third wicket after two wickets had fallen with the score on 49 to raise Pakistan's hopes.

Mathews remained unbeaten on 43, sharing a fourth-wicket partnership of 32 with Lahiru Thirimanne, who hit the winning boundary off leg-spinner Yasir Shah.

The win ended Sri Lanka's three-match losing streak at the P. Sara Oval and set up a potentially thrilling finale when the third Test opens at the Pallekele stadium near the popular hill resort of Kandy on Friday.

Kithuruwan Vithanage, promoted to open the batting in place of Kaushal Silva, smashed four boundaries and two sixes in an aggressive 34 off 23 balls.

The left-hander contributed a major share of the 49-run opening stand with Karunaratne, when Pakistan hit back with two wickets off successive balls.

Vithanage holed out in the deep off the last ball of left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar's second over after striking two sixes earlier in the over.

Veteran Kumar Sangakkara, playing his last Test match against Pakistan, fell to the first delivery he faced, caught at short-leg by Azhar Ali off Yasir.

Sangakkara, 37, Test cricket's leading current run-getter, said on Saturday he will appear in only the first two Tests against Pakistan and play two more against India in August before retiring from the international game.

The exact dates and venues for the three-Test series against India have not yet been announced.

Karunaratne had hit four boundaries when he was leg-before to Yasir with 32 runs still needed for victory, but vice-captain Thirimanne partnered his skipper to a facile win.

Pakistan missed the services of their pace spearhead Wahab Riaz who suffered a hairline fracture on the left hand while batting on the first day and has been ruled out for the rest of the series.

Yasir finished with two for 55 and Babar took one for 42.

Read more on:    sri lanka  |  cricket

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