Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 19th 2014 Contents A55
January 19, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Ahmed Shehzad cashed in on a very
flat pitch to hit a maiden Test cen-
tury but Sri Lanka hit back through
Rangana Herath s triple strike to
restrict Pakistan to 291-6 in the
decisive third Test yesterday in
United Arab Emirates.
Shehzad made 147 off 275 balls
with 12 fours and a six in just over
five-and-a-half hours before he
became one of Herath s three victims
in the last session on the third day.
Captain Misbah-ul-Haq was
unbeaten on 36 as Herath (3-88)
also had Sarfraz Ahmed caught
behind in the last over of the day.
"It s my debut series and I made
century as well, so it s a kind of
dream come true for me," Shehzad,
who scored 55 in the drawn first test,
"My wicket fell at a very wrong
time as it s always difficult for a new
batsman to come and adjust."
Pakistan remained 137 runs adrift
of Sri Lanka, after The Lions declared
its first innings at 428-9.
Sri Lanka did well to restrict Pak-
istan to 169-2 by tea before Shehzad
upped the scoring rate soon after.
He completed his century off 230
balls with seven fours before smash-
ing another five boundaries and also
adding a six to his haul.
Shehzad made an overly ambitious
attempt to reverse sweep against
Herath, but was unable to avoid
dragging the ball back onto his
stumps when he looked set to dom-
inate the bowling.
Sri Lanka didn t go for the second
new ball and Shaminda Eranga
reverse swung the old ball enough
to win lbw decision against Asad
Shafiq before Herath got a faint edge
"The captain is there and I think
we should play two more sessions
and equal their score," Shehzad said.
"We will try to make a comeback
as we are going after the result in
Herath struck early after tea when
Younis Khan (17) was caught behind
down the legside as Pakistan had to
pay a heavy price of losing four wick-
ets for 122 runs in the last session.
Sri Lanka---leading the series 1-0
and needing just a draw to clinch
the series---did well in the first ses-
sion by conceding just 66 runs after
Pakistan resumed at the overnight
Shehzad and Khurram Manzoor
(52) laboured for only 23 runs in the
first hour with Shehzad hitting two
legside boundaries off fast bowler
Manzoor was very cautious, hit-
ting only one boundary in the ses-
sion, when he cut Eranga to point
in the 17th over of the day.
The openers put on Pakistan s best
first wicket stand of the series---114
runs---but were too defensive against
both seamers and the left-arm spin
of Herath, who constantly bowled
outside leg stump and tested the
patience of batsmen.
But the Sri Lanka tactic annoyed
"They can t bowl us out with neg-
ative bowling in a proper test match,"
Shehzad said. "It s a do or die match
for us and they were afraid that we
were going after runs."
But Sri Lanka s premier batsman
Kumar Sangakkara was quick to
"A lot of batsmen do not have the
patience anyways when you bowl
those kind of lines," Sangakkara said.
"The plan was quite positive to try
and get them to hit against the line."
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews
also frustrated the openers with some
intelligent field placings and didn t
allow them to rotate strike too often
with five fielders inside the 15 metres
on the legside.
Pakistan needed a significant
increase in the run rate to take the
win that would square the series,
but Manzoor and Shehzad were tied
down after the break as they took
almost three hours to reach their
fifties, with 84 further runs gained
in the second session.
Shehzad reached his half century
off 150 balls with five fours and Man-
zoor soon followed him to complete
his seventh Test fifty off 120 balls
with four boundaries.
Eranga finally got the breakthrough
when Manzoor, who faced 125 balls
with four boundaries, tried to flick
him down the legside and Ali per-
ished soon afterwards as Perera lured
him to drive off a well flighted deliv-
ery and found the outside edge to
Herath restricts Pakistan to 291-6
Sri Lanka 1st Inns: 428-9 decl.
Pakistan 1st Inns
c PJayawardene b Eranga ..........52
A Shehzad b Herath .....................147
A Ali c Mathews b Perera .............8
c PJayawardene b Herath ...........17
M-ul-Haq not out .............................36
A Shafiq lbw b Eranga ..................18
c PJayawardene b Herath ..............5
Extras: (1b, 6lb, 1nb) .........................8
TOTAL: (for 6 wickets) ..............291
Fall of wickets: 1-114, 2-149, 3-
189, 4-245, 5-274, 6-291
Still to bat: Abdul Rehman, Saeed
Ajmal, Mohammad Talha, Junaid
Bowling: Rangana Herath 31.3-8-
88-3, Suranga Lakmal 21-4-57-0,
Dilruwan Perera 17-1-71-1,
Shaminda Eranga 19-5-53-2 (1nb),
Angelo Mathews 7-3-15-0.
Toss: Sri Lanka
Umpires: Richard Kettleborough,
England, and Sundaram Ravi, India
TV umpire: Bruce Oxenford,
Match referee: Javagal Srinath,
Today begins what is possibly
one of India s last full tours to coun-
tries other than England and Aus-
tralia. New Zealand will have woken
up to news that the big three of
world cricket want to take control
of the ICC, and want to do away
with the FTP, which in any case is
not binding on the member nations.
This is New Zealand s chance to
show they might not be bringing in
as much money as the big three to
the ICC, but they are not have-nots.
That they bring enough flair of their
own. Starting with the Napier ODI,
the first New Zealand will be playing
against India in more than three
years, there should be enough moti-
vation for the hosts to push India
off the top of the ICC ODI rankings,
which they can do with a series win.
Conflictingly they will also know
that the IPL will be watching, a tour-
nament at the heart of such division
between the haves and the have-
nots in world cricket. No New
Zealander has been retained by the
IPL. This series is a chance for the
New Zealand players to send one
final reminder to the franchises. And
to correct the following statistic:
their batsmen have the worst average
of teams that have played ODIs in
New Zealand since December 2011.
The Indian batsmen will be look-
ing forward to the smaller outfields
and the usually flat pitches in New
Zealand. Brendon McCullum,
though, is already flirting with the
ideas of playing four quicks. Mike
Hesson, the coach, has asked the
groundsmen in New Zealand for a
harsh welcome for India.
"Obviously we ll see how everyone
pulls up through training as well,
but I think it will be quite nice to
unleash a bit of pace in this opening
game and then try and be aggressive
and as hostile as we can with ball
in hand," said McCullum.
The focus, once again, will shift
to the Indian bowlers for whom going
for less than 300 was considered an
achievement in South Africa even
when they themselves struggled to
get to 200.
Playing cricket in New Zealand is
different. There are drop-in pitches,
heavy winds and oddly shaped
grounds. New Zealand should carry
a big advantage from their familiarity
with the conditions, but they will
want it to show in the results: since
beating West Indies in 2008-09,
Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are the
only teams they have beaten in home
Shikhar Dhawan has come into
the spotlight after struggling on
India s tour of South Africa, scoring
88 in six international innings. He
will get quite a few bowled at his
ribs with men back on the leg side.
There won t be much to drive
through the covers. Dhawan will
have to show he is evolving as a
One of the bowlers testing
Dhawan is likely to be Adam Milne,
who clocked 153.9 kmph during a
recent Twenty20 international
against West Indies. He says he has
bowled faster in some domestic
games where there are no speed
guns. He could be one of the four
quicks that McCullum wants
unleashed on India.
If New Zealand do play four spe-
cialist quicks, one out of Nathan
McCullum and James Neesham
might have to make way. Also, Hes-
son has already said Corey Anderson
might be a bit fatigued, and might
miss out on a game or two at some
time during the series. Anderson
wasn t even released for Northern
Districts T20 playoff against Can-
India had dropped Yuvraj Singh
from their previous ODI series. If
they pick a batsman for batsman,
either Ajinya Rahane or Ambati
Rayudu should come in. However,
India could also think of giving Stuart
Binny a debut, especially because
they have missed a seam-bowling
allrounder on these away trips, and
ODIs are a good place to test him.
If Binny does play, he could come
in at the expense of a specialist bats-
man or even R Ashwin, who had a
torrid time in South Africa.
"We have looked into each and
every aspect of not only batting and
bowling, but fielding also, which will
be very crucial. So most of the areas
have been covered, and we have had
a few days to prepare," said India
captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
NZ's chance to send across message
Sri Lanka bowler Rangana Herath's triple strike restricted Pakistan to
291-6 in the decisive third Test at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the
United Arab Emirates, yesterday. AP PHOTO
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