|Scorecard:||Pakistan v Sri Lanka|
|Player:||Kamran Akmal, Younis Khan|
|Event:||Sri Lanka in Pakistan 2008/09|
DateLine: 25th February 2009
The Test match was destined to be a draw but then a late flurry of activities brought some life into the Test match. Sri Lanka lost half their side even before the deficit of 124 could be wiped out and then it was left to Samaraweera and the keeper Jayawardene to take their team to the shores of safety.
Younis began the day 31 runs short of Hanif Mohammad's 337, the highest individual score by a Pakistan batsman. He started slowly, nudging around, but was surprised by the movement from Fernando. The ball landed short of a length outside off stump before cutting back in quickly to beat the defensive poke and crashed into the off stump. As Younis walked back, he was congratulated by most of the Sri Lankan fielders. Younis batted for 836 minutes, the third longest Test innings in terms of minutes behind Hanif Mohammad (970) and Gary Kirsten (878). Akmal carried on unperturbed, helping himself to an easy fifty at the batting paradise. Sri Lanka took their feet off the pedal after Younis left and bowled an assortment of irregular bowlers like Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratane Dilshan and Malinda Warnapura. Akmal picked off 98 runs from the irregular bowlers and reached 158 off only 184 balls before Younis finally declared on 765.
There was little to play for when Sri Lanka began their second innings but Umar Gul lifted Pakistan with an early strike, inducing an edge from Malinda Warnapura. Tharanga Paranavitana also missed out for the second time this game, run out by a direct hit. Pakistan seamers bowled with more purpose, and sent down several short balls. Dilshan pulled on bouncer from Gul straight to deep square leg and Sri Lanka went into tea on 56 for 3. Sangakkara was joined by his captain and it was left to them to take the team to safety. Sangakkara had a piece of fortune when he was caught off a no-ball Umar Gul when on 17 and then on 40 he was dropped by Sohail Khan off his own bowling. Had those two chances been converted the end story had been different as it turned out that crucial; time was eaten up as Pakistan sensing uncertainty in the Pakistani camp began to go for the kill.
Disaster struck in the form of Jayawardene's wicket as he was snapped up by Iqbal at short-leg of Kaneria and then in about four overs later Kaneria struck once again as he trapped Sangakkara plumb before the stumps with Lankans still 1 run away from taking the lead. Samaraweera was then left with Jayawardene as they adopted caution over aggression with the sole intent of keeping their wickets safe. Jayawardene had some anxious moments as he very nearly edged a Kaneria delivery into the hands of the second slip and then just managed to keep a Gul yorker out of the harm's way. Just when Younis Khan realised that the game was heading no where he was sporting to call off the game and Pakistan will head to second Test with their noses slightly ahead.
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