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Asif rips through Sri Lanka top order

Written by: Staff

KANDY, Sri Lanka, Apr 3 (Reuters) Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif ripped through Sri Lanka's top order as the hosts struggled to 79 for three on the first morning of the second test.

Asif, Pakistan's premier bowler in the first test, bowled a superb 12-over spell with the new ball on a pitch offering extravagant seam movement throughout the first session, finishing with three for 26.

Sri Lanka's leading batsman Kumar Sangakkara was unbeaten on 41 at the break with middle order batsman Thilan Samaraweera on six not out.

Sri Lanka battled through the first half hour but then lost Upul Tharanga (10) who pushed at a wide delivery angled across him and edged into the slips.

Veteran Sanath Jayasuriya, playing his last test match, was then bowled by a peach of a delivery that nipped back off the seam enough to clip off-stump.

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene lasted 42 minutes for his four runs, regularly playing and missing as the ball jagged off the seam.

Kumar Sangakkara led a fightback with a series of glorious cover drives.

But Asif struck again before the break as Jayawardene edged low to second slip.

Pakistan suffered a blow before the start as opener Shoaib Malik, who helped save the first test with a marathon 148 not out, pulled out with a fever.

Experienced campaigner Mohammad Yousuf returned having recovered from a hamstring strain.

Pace bowler Iftikhar Rao replaced leg spinning allrounder Shahid Afridi.

Sri Lanka dropped fast bowler Dilhara Fernando for Nuwan Kulasekera.

The first test in Colombo last week was drawn.

Reuters PDS DB1302

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