Fight back time
Tall order for Sri Lankans
KARACHI, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Sanath Jayasuriya struck a cavalier 96 not out to lead Sri Lanka's fightback against Pakistan after a century by Inzamam-ul-Haq on the third day of the second test on Saturday.

Trailing by 270 runs on first innings, Sri Lanka reached the close on 134 for one, still needing a further 136 to avoid an innings defeat.

The left-handed Jayasuriya, 35, was on the brink of a 14th test century, having hit 14 fours and a six in 104 balls. He became his country's highest run-scorer in tests when he reached 83.

His exhilarating display continued a strong revival by the visitors, who took the last five wickets for 77 runs in the afternoon session to dismiss Pakistan for 478. However, Pakistan captain Inzamam believes his team have a good opportunity to level the two-match series with a victory.

"The way Sanath is batting, we always have a chance of getting him out," Inzamam told reporters. "But the longer he stays there, the runs will come fast for them which is dangerous for us. "The pitch is good for batting and, even if we have to chase between 150 to 200 on the final day, we can do it.

"I am happy that my century helped Pakistan to call the shots in this match. But I was looking for a lead of around 350 plus. We lost our last few wickets very quickly," he added.

Pakistan had been in a dominant position at lunch, reaching 387 for five with Inzamam unbeaten on 117. The wickets fell, though, at regular intervals after Inzamam was out to the fourth ball after lunch without adding to his score, his 20th test century and fifth against Sri Lanka.

Inzamam, having batted for five-and-a-half hours and 242 balls, edged left-arm pacer Chaminda Vaas to Mahela Jayawardene at first slip. Jayawardene had put down a similar chance off Dilhara Fernando when Inzamam was on 108 runs, just before lunch.

Sri Lanka, who lead the series 1-0, made a fast start to their second innings after tea, Jayasuriya taking two fours in the opening over from Rana Naved and handing out similar treatment to Riaz Afridi and Abdul Razzaq.

While his partner Marvan Atapattu made a sedate 25 in a first-wicket stand of 117, Jayasuriya was in explosive form. The left-hander, who top-scored with 253 in Sri Lanka's first test win in Faisalabad, reached his fifty from 49 balls, including eight fours and a six to square leg off Danish Kaneria.

He became his country's highest scorer in tests with a cover drive for four that took him to 83, surpassing Aravinda de Silva's career total of 6,361 runs.

Aravinda happy, but warns Sanath
By Marlon Fernandopulle
Former Sri Lanka Cricket captain Aravinda de Silva who said he was “happy” for Sanath Jayasuriya as he surpassed his aggregate of test runs but hoped that the National Cricket Selectors will persist with the dashing opener for the nex t few years.

Speaking to The Sunday Times last evening De Silva said,"I am very happy for Sanath and I hope he will continue to accumilate many more runs for Sri Lanka Cricket. Sanath is one of our premier batsmen and I hope the Selectors will persist with him for the next two years or so and also wish that what happened to me will not happen to him. My career was cut short by about one and a half years and lets hope that this will not happen to Sanath".

Jayasuriya who was unbeaten on 97, surpassed Aravinda de Silva's test aggregate of 6361 runs when he reached 82. Jayasuriya who also became the highest test cap (94) for Sri Lanka when he played in this test match also holds the record for the highest individual score (340) in a test by a Sri Lankan. He has also played the most number of one dayers (332) for Sri Lanka and holds the record for the most amount of runs (9853) and the highest individual score (189) by a Sri Lankan in one day Internationals.


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