Match ends in a dull draw, another double blow for Sangakkara
It was a really dead wicket at the SSC and rain hampered the progress for most of the match. Both the teams went on to to pile big runs. Sri Lanka still lead the 3-match series, 1-0.
After suffering a 89-point heavy loss in the first Test on the Castrol Index, Pakistan received a huge shot in the arm as their skipper Misbah-ul-Haq returned to the side after serving a one match ban. He replaced Mohammad Ayub in the side while, Aizaz Cheema replaced an unfit Umar Gul. The Lankans went unchanged.
Mahela Jayawardena won the toss and surprisingly elected to bowl on a good batting wicket. As expected, Pakistan got off to a good start as openers Mohammad Hafeez and Taufeeq Umar played out the first session cautiously and added 78 runs for the first wicket. Unusually, it was Angelo Mathews who provided the first breakthrough for the Lions as he made Umar edge one to the keeper. The second session totally belonged to Pakistan as Hafeez upped the ante and reached his 5th Test century with a single to fine leg. Soon after his century he gloved a pull to the keeper off Mathews but luckily it turned out to be a no-ball after the umpires decided to go upstairs. The pair of Hafeez and Ali added 123 runs in the second session and then went on to add 117 runs in the last session. Hafeez missed out on a double ton early on day 2 as he missed a slog-sweep off Herath and was clean-bowled. He attained the highest Batting Momentum of 262.
Ali was calm and composed at the other end and he brought up his 3rd Test century in the first session on day two. Intermittent rains made sure that the first and second sessions were shortened. Younus added 70 with Ali before he was trapped in front by Herath. Ali finally departed for 157 when he miscued his reverse sweep off Randiv. He received a second-best Index of 200. Only 44.2 overs were possible on day 2.
Misbah upped the ante in the first session on third day and with a considerable amount of time lost, declared the innings on 551/6. Apart from the third day, the Lankan bowlers looked totally listless. Herath managed to pick up 3 wickets but went for 164 runs.
The Lankans had a huge task ahead but received huge blow in just the fourth over as Paranavitana departed, caught at short leg off Junaid Khan. Dilshan and Sangakkara started the rebuilding process. Dilshan survived some close chances as he looked edgy to start off with. Then he settled into a nice rhythm of his own and both the veterans went on to notch up individual centuries.
There was a late outburst of wickets from Junaid Khan at the end of the day as he got the ball to reverse. Dilshan departed but Sangakkara was not-out at the end of the day with the match meandering towards a draw. Sangakkara bagged the Batting Momentum on the Castrol Index with 350 points. Junaid Khan bowled splendidly to get a five-wicket haul and finished with the highest Bowling Efficiency, 11.
On day 5, there were minimal chances of a result and Pakistan needed 15 wickets in the last day, in case they could enforce follow on. The home side did not lose any wickets in the first session as Sangakkara and Mathews batted it out well. But there was a flurry of wickets in the second session, Sangakkara once again missed out on a double century, with him bowing out for 192. Pakistan declared at 100/2, and they gave the Lankans 37 overs to score 261 runs. It was a huge task but the Lankans did not really go after the target. They lost a couple of wickets but with 15 overs left for the day to end, both the skippers shook hands to settle for a draw.
On the Castrol Index, Pakistan steered ahead of the home side by 44 points. For his extremely passionate spell of bowling, Junaid Khan was rightly awarded the Man of the Match award.