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Ajmal sets up Pakistan nine-wicket victory

October 29, 2011 20:22 IST

Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal took his fourth five-wicket haul in Tests as Pakistan completed a facile nine-wicket win within four days in the second Test against Sri Lanka on Saturday to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Needing 94 for victory, opener Mohammad Hafeez remained unbeaten after scoring a quickfire 59 and knocked off the runs with Azhar Ali (29) after Pakistan lost Taufeeq Umar early.

Pakistan bundled out Sri Lanka for 257 in their second innings and restricted the visitors' lead to a paltry 93.

The 34-year old Ajmal with five for 68 led the Pakistan spinners, who took eight out of the 10 second innings wickets to fall, at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Saeed AjmalAjmal ran through the Sri Lankan tail, keeping the batsmen guessing with his 'doosras', after fellow left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman (2-65) broke a stubborn seventh wicket stand by dismissing Dhammika Prasad.

Angelo Mathews (52 not out) and Prasad (33) added 56 for the seventh wicket to take the lead closer to the 100-run mark.

Pakistan dismissed opener Tharanga Paranavitana (72) and wicketkeeper batsman Kaushal Silva (eight) before tea after scalping Sri Lanka's batting mainstays Kumar Sangakkara (30), Mahela Jayawardene (5) and captain Tillakaratne Dilshan (3) in the morning.

Sangakkara, who scored a double century to save Sri Lanka in the first Test in Abu Dhabi, added 73 for the second wicket with Paranavitana before he was given out lbw to Rehman.

A fuming Sangakkara stormed back to the pavilion, clearly unhappy with the decision, and was soon followed by Jayawardene, who struggled during his 34-ball stay before being bowled around his legs while trying to sweep Ajmal.

Captain Dilshan was undone by some superb reverse swing bowling from left-arm seamer Junaid Khan and was struck right in front of the stumps to a delivery that came in after pitching.

Junaid bowled around the stumps to the right-handers and was able to get the old ball to swing both ways, making life difficult for the batsmen on a wearing pitch.

Pakistan are playing "home" Tests in the Gulf region because of security fears in their own country. The final match of the series is at Sharjah from Nov. 3.

Sri Lanka first innings 239

Pakistan first innings 403
Sri Lanka second innings (overnight 88-1)
T. Paranavitana c Y. Khan b Ajmal 72
L. Thirimanne b Hafeez 8
K. Sangakkara lbw b Rehman 30
M. Jayawardene b Ajmal 5
T. Dilshan lbw b J. Khan 3
A. Mathews not out 52
K. Silva c Ajmal b J. Khan 8
D. Prasad b A. Rehman 33
R. Herath c Misbah b Ajmal 15
C. Welegedara lbw b Ajmal 4
S. Lakmal b Ajmal 8
Extras (b-14, lb-3, nb-2) 19
Total (all out, 109.5 overs) 257
Fall of wickets: 1-22, 2-95, 3-113, 4-116, 5-141, 6-166, 7-222, 8-243, 9-247
Bowling: U. Gul 15-3-39-0, Junaid Khan 17-4-38-2, M. Hafeez 14-2-30-1, A. Rehman 33-7-65-2, S. Ajmal 30.5-9-68-5.

Pakistan second innings
M. Hafeez not out 59
T. Umar b Herath 1
A. Ali not out 29
Extras (b-4, lb-1) 5
Total (one wicket; 24.1 overs) 94
Fall of wicket: 1-17
Bowling: D. Prasad 3-0-23-0, C. Welegedara 2-1-1-0, R. Herath 10.1-2-29-1, T. Dilshan 9-0-36-0.

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