Pakistan seamer Asif restricts Sri Lanka on first day
by AFP

Ground:Asgiriya Stadium, Kandy
Scorecard:Sri Lanka v Pakistan
Player:Mohammad Asif, Danish Kaneria, KC Sangakkara, TT Samaraweera
Event:Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2005/06

DateLine: 3rd April 2006


Pakistan seamer Mohammad Asif bagged his maiden five-wicket Test haul to help restrict Sri Lanka on the opening day of the second Test here on Monday.


The 23-year-old returned figures of 5-41 as the home side reached 267-8 at the close, with Nuwan Kulasekara (11) and Lasith Malinga (zero) the not out batsmen.


Asif, who bowled a nagging line in his morning spell of 12 overs, ripped through the top order with three vital wickets to reduce Sri Lanka to 61-3.


He had opener Upul Tharanga (ten) and captain Mahela Jayawardene (four) caught in the slips and bowled Sanath Jayasuriya (14) with a delivery that beat the left-hander and went between bat and pad.


Then with the second new ball he dismissed Thilan Samaraweera for 65 and Malinga Bandara for 43 to claim his maiden five-for in his fifth Test.


In between Asif's bursts, leg-spinner Danish Kaneria claimed three wickets.


The Sri Lankans also suffered two doubtful decisions.


Kumar Sangakkara (79) was adjudged caught bat-pad when replays suggested the ball had not touched his bat and Farveez Maharoof (seven) also fell to a similar decision off Kaneria.


Sangakkara, the hero for Sri Lanka in the drawn first Test with a brilliant 185, brought up his 20th Test half-century in only 59 balls. He hit 15 fours during his 98-ball knock.


Sri Lanka also benefited once, when a run out appeal against Bandara was turned down by third umpire Asoka de Silva even though the batsman looked to be out of the crease.


The home side were in a precarious position before recovering in the second session through an 81-run partnership between Sangakkara and Samaraweera.


After Sangakkara's dismissal, Samaraweera carried on to hit nine fours off 180 balls before falling to Asif.


Pakistan were without Shoaib Malik, who was the hero of the drawn first Test in Colombo last week with a match-saving century. He was ruled out of the match due to high fever.


But Mohammad Yousuf, who missed the first match due to injury, returned to the side. Pakistan left out all-rounder Shahid Afridi while paceman Rao Ifthikar made his debut.


Sri Lanka brought in Kulasekara for paceman Dilhara Fernando.


The hosts are bidding farewell to Sanath Jayasuriya who has said that he will retire from Test cricket after this match.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)


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