Welegedara`s five give Sri Lanka lead

Last Updated: Nov 06, 2011, 15:14 PM IST

Sharjah: Left-arm paceman Chanaka Welegadara took his maiden five-wicket haul to help Sri Lanka take an invaluable 73-run lead over Pakistan on the fourth day of the third Test on Sunday.

The 30-year-old fast bowler finished with 5-87 after Misbah-ul-Haq missed his hundred by just 11 runs as Pakistan were dismissed for 340 in reply to Sri Lanka`s first innings score of 413 in the match at Sharjah stadium.

The lanky paceman improved on his previous best of 4-87 he took against India at Ahmedabad in 2009.

But despite Welegedara`s effort, it was Misbah`s fighting knock of 89 which brought Pakistan closer before the 37-year-old right-handed batsman fell 10 minutes before lunch, top edging a sweep off spinner Suraj Randiv. Misbah hit seven boundaries and a six during his 261-ball knock.

He added an invaluable 47 runs for the ninth wicket with Saeed Ajmal (12 not out) after Pakistan lost Abdul Rehman off the last ball of the first over of the day, caught in the slips off Welegedara.

It could have been worse for Pakistan if the Sri Lankan fielders had not dropped Misbah three times. Wicket-keeper Kaushal Silva failed to grab a faint edge on a defensive push
off left-arm spinner Rangana Herath when the batsman was 57.

Two runs later Misbah`s uppish drive off Welegedara went between the hands off Angelo Mathews at mid-off and then at 67 he was let off by Tharanga Paranavitana off the same bowler.

The Pakistan captain took full advantage of the lapses, hitting Welegedara for a straight six and four to take his team`s total past the 300 mark.

In between Herath dismissed Umar Gul for five, but Ajmal provided Misbah the much needed assistance to bring their team closer to the Sri Lankan total.

Welegedara finished the innings when he bowled number 11 Junaid Khan for nought. Herath finished with 3-85.

Pakistan lead the three-Test series 1-0 after winning the second Test by nine wickets in Dubai. The first Test in Abu Dhabi ended in a draw.

PTI