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Tough task ahead of Pakistan

Muralitharan grabbed two wickets to back up a masterful 185 runs from Kumar Sangakkara on Wednesday as Pakistan struggled chasing a daunting 458-run victory target in the first Test.

india Updated: Mar 29, 2006 18:19 IST

Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan grabbed two wickets to back up a masterful 185 runs from Kumar Sangakkara on Wednesday as Pakistan struggled chasing a daunting 458-run victory target in the first Test.

Pakistan were two wickets down for 89 runs at stumps on the fourth day, with 369 runs required in three sessions on the fifth and final day.

Shoaib Malik on 30 and Faisal Iqbal on nine will resume the chase on Thursday.

Malik and Imran Farhat gave the visitors a positive start with a 59-run partnership for the first wicket. But Muralitharan struck in the 27th over of the innings, inducing an edge off Farhat to skipper Mahela Jayawardene at slips.

No 3 batsman Younis Khan made only eight before missing a back-cut against a sharp-turning off-spinner from Muralitharan (2-20).

Resuming the day at 242 for two, Sri Lanka declared their second innings shortly before tea having scored 448 for five, helped by powerful knocks by Sangakkara, Jayawardene (82), Upul Tharanga (72) and Thilan Samaraweera (64).

Sangakkara faced 326 balls in 453 minutes on the way to his ninth century, and was involved in partnerships of 158 and 144 with Jayawardene and Samaraweera respectively.

He eventually lost his wicket after top edging a Malik ball to Inzamam-ul-Haq. Paceman Mohammad Asif was the pick of Pakistan's bowlers with 2-71 following up his first innings tally of 4-41, while Danish Kaneria, Malik an Shahid Afridi took one wicket each.

Earlier seam bowler Ferveez Maharoof took a career-best 4-52 skittle the visitors for 176 in the first innings to earn a slim nine-run lead. Farhat top-scored with 69 runs.

Sri Lanka was dismissed for 185 in its first innings with Tillakaratne Dilshan making 69.

Scoreboard:

Sri Lanka 1st Innings:
185. Pakistan 1st Innings: 176. Sri Lanka 2nd Innings(Overnight 242 for two): Upul Tharanga c Farhat b Kaneria 72, Sanath Jayasuriya c Akmal b Asif 13, Kumar Sangakkara c Haq b Malik 185, Mahela Jayawardene c Razzak b Asif 82, Thilan Samaraweera c Farhat b Afridi 64, Tillakaratne Dilshan not out 8, Ferveez Maharoof not out 5, Extras (b-10, lb-6, nb-3) 19. Total: (For five wickets decl in 128 overs) 448.

Fall of wickets: 1-53, 2-127, 3-285, 4-429, 5-438.

Bowling: Mohammad Asif 23-4-71-2, Umar Gul 20-1-73-0, Danish Kaneria 36-5-138-1, Shoaib Malik 15-2-48-1, Shahid Afridi 21-0-57-1, Abdul Razzaq 12-1-43-0, Imran Farhat 1-0-2-0.

Pakistan 2nd Innings: Shoaib Malik not out 30, Imran Farhat c Jayawardene b Muralitharan 34, Younis Khan b Muralitharan 8, Faisal Iqbal not out 9, Extras: (b-6, nb-1, w-1) 8. Total: (For two wickets in 41 overs) 89.

Fall of wickets: 1-59, 2-71.

Bowling: Lasith Malinga 8-2-31-0, Ferveez Maharoof 9-4-17-0, Muttiah Muralitharan 14-5-20-2, Dilhara Fernando 8-3-14-0, Malinga Bandara 1-1-0-0, Sanath Jayasuriya 1-0-1-0.

Umpires: Rudi Koertzen (South Africa), and Steve Davis (Australia). TV Umpire: Tyron Wijewardena (Sri Lanka). Match Referee: Alan Hurst (Australia).