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Asif rips through Sri Lanka for 11-wicket haul

Written by: Staff
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COLOMBO, Apr 4 (Reuters) Pakistan pace bowler Mohammad Asif claimed his first 10-wicket haul as Sri Lanka collapsed to 73 for eight in their second innings of the second test today.

Replying to Sri Lanka's 279, Pakistan lost their way after a solid start and were bowled out for 170 in just 52.4 overs just after tea on the second day.

Asif hit back during two long spells of sustained hostility in the final session of a day in which 20 wickets fell.

Superbly exploiting a difficult pitch offering extravagant seam movement and increasing variations in bounce, Asif claimed five for 27 in 12 overs as Sri Lanka closed with a lead of 182 runs.

The 23-year-old's haul followed a career-best six for 44 in the first innings to give him match figures of 11 for 71.

''We have seen some high quality pace bowling in this game and Mohammad Asif has bowled brilliantly,'' Pakistan team manager Zaheer Abbas told reporters.

''He can be has good as some of the fast bowling greats that Pakistan have produced over the years.'' Asif ripped through the top order, bowling Upul Tharanga (12), Kumar Sangakkara (16) and Thilan Samaraweera (four).

All rounder Farveez Maharoof (one) went lbw and Tillakaratne Dilshan (11) edged to wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal to give Asif his second five-wicket haul of the match.

'SPECIALIST BATSMAN' ''There was something in the wicket and they bowled well, especially Asif,'' Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene said.

''We made a brilliant comeback after not starting that well with the ball but they came back at us very strongly in the second innings.

''We'd have liked to have had a specialist batsman at the crease overnight but the bottom line is that we have to defend whatever total we get.

''We have to make sure we bowl in the same areas we bowled earlier today,'' he added.

Sri Lanka's cause was not helped by an injury to Sanath Jayasuriya, who is unlikely to play any further part in his final test.

The opener, who announced his decision to retire last Friday, dislocated his thumb while catching Imran Farhat in the morning.

Resuming on 267-8, Sri Lanka added just 12 runs before Nuwan Kulasekera (13) was bowled by Asif and Lasith Malinga (nine) was caught in the covers off leg spinner Danish Kaneria.

Stand-in opener Akmal -- promoted after Shoaib Malik pulled out of the match with a fever -- and Farhat gave the tourists a 57-run opening stand.

But off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan took the first of his five wickets as Pakistan reached lunch on 71-2 After the break, Mohammad Yousuf (17) and Younis Khan (35) shared a 50-run partnership for the third wicket before Muralitharan struck again.

He bowled Yousuf trying to force an off break through the off side. Younis was then caught at slip off pace bowler Maharoof before Muralitharan trapped Faisal Iqbal lbw for five and bowled Razzaq for four. He finished with five for 39 from 16.4 overs.

The first test in Colombo ended in a draw.

REUTERS DH BS1957

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