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Sri Lanka beats Pakistan to level 3-Test series

By AP - Jun 29,2015 - Last updated at Jun 29,2015

Sri Lankan cricketer Dimuth Karunaratne plays a shot during the final day of the second Test match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in Colombo on Monday (AFP photo by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi)

COLOMBO — Opener Dimuth Karunaratne smashed a half-century to help Sri Lanka complete a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Pakistan in the second cricket Test Monday to level the three-match series 1-1.

Needing 153 to win with rain looming on the final day, the Sri Lankan batsmen reached the victory target in 26.3 overs before lunch at the P.Sara Oval.

“The boys showed a lot of character after the defeat in Galle,” Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said after the match.

“We wanted to bat positively because we were not sure about the rain. So we gave the green signal to play positively.”

Karunaratne was out for 50, trapped lbw by legspinner Yasir Shah after adding 72 runs for the third wicket with Mathews, who remained unbeaten on 43.

Karunaratne faced 57 deliveries and hit four boundaries.

Kithruwan Vithanage was promoted up the batting order to hasten the chase and made a brisk 34 off 23 before, being caught in the deep by Mohammad Hafeez off left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar.

Kumar Sangakkara, playing his final innings against Pakistan, was out for a first-ball duck, caught at forward short-leg off Shah.

The left-hander will not play the third Test against Pakistan and will retire from international cricket after the second match of a three-match Test series against India in August.

Shah returned figures of 2-55 and claimed eight wickets in the match.

Seam bowler Dhammika Prasad on Sunday took four wickets for Sri Lanka to help dismiss Pakistan for 329 in its second innings, despite a fighting 117 from Azhar Ali.

Prasad was named player of the match for his eight wickets in the match.

Ali and opener Ahmed Shehzad brought Pakistan back into the match in the second innings after conceding a 177-run first-innings lead. Pakistan was dismissed for a paltry 138 in the first innings and Sri Lanka replied with 315.

Ali and Shehzad (69) added 120 for the second wicket, but the rest of the batting faltered against the Sri Lankan seamers.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq was disappointed with the team’s performance after winning by 10 wickets in Galle.

“It’s a really big worry for us that we put up really big scores in the first Test but in the second Test we were dismissed from 70 for two to 138,” he said. “We really need to play the first innings well.”

 

The third and series-deciding match of the series will start Friday in Pallekele near the hill city of Kandy.

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