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Bhatti gives Pakistan the edge

Debutant's double strike leaves Sri Lanka at 186 for 4 with a lead of only seven runs on day three

Bhatti gives Pakistan the edge - Cricket News
Bilawal Bhatti took the crucial wickets of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena.
Bilawal Bhatti removed Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena off his successive deliveries to put Pakistan in command of the first Test on Thursday (January 2). 

Bhatti, the 22-year-old debutant, dismissed Sangakkara (55) with the last ball of his tenth over and then had Jayawardena caught by Asad Shafiq off the first ball of his next over to leave Sri Lanka at 186-4 in its second innings at stumps on the third day on a Sheikh Zayed Stadium pitch which had eased out for batsmen.

The left-arm pacer Junaid Khan (2 for 46) built on the strikes by having Kaushal Silva caught behind for 81 in what would be the last ball of the day. 

Dinesh Chandimal (24) was unbeaten as Sri Lanka, who conceded a 179-run lead in the first innings, ended the day seven runs ahead with six wickets in hand. 

Silva, playing only his fourth Test, used his feet well against Saeed Ajmal and looked comfortable against Pakistan's bowling, reaching his maiden half-century with a single off Junaid. He hit 11 boundaries during his 275-minute stay and gave Sri Lanka a confident start of 47 with Dimuth Karunaratne (24). 

Once Karunaratne was bowled by Junaid before tea, Kumar Sangakkara joined Silva for a 99-run second wicket stand. Sangakkara brought up his 43rd Test fifty with a crisp cut shot off Bhatti for his sixth boundary.

Bhatti then forced an edge off Sangakkara, which was smartly snapped up in the slips by Younus Khan. In the next over, Bhatti had a ball rear up from a good length which forced Jayawardena to hand an easy catch to gully for a first-ball duck. 

In the morning, Sri Lanka's pace and spin attack brought its team back in the game by taking the last six wickets for an addition of just 54 runs after Pakistan resumed the day at 327 for 4. 

Misbah-ul Haq, the Pakistan captain, scored 135, inclusive of 16 boundaries and a six, off 306 balls before being last man out, caught at long-off by Sangakkara off Herath. Pakistan lost Asad Shafiq (13) and Adnan Akmal for six before Bhatti (14) helped his skipper add 27 for the seventh wicket. Herath dismissed Ajmal and Rahat Ali off consecutive deliveries to restrict Pakistan's lead. 

Shaminda Eranga finished with 3 for 80 while the left-arm spinner Rangana Herath took 3 for 90 – all his three wickets coming in ten balls on the day.

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