It may have come on a dead pitch at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SCC) at Colombo, but Pakistan’s drawn effort would have done a world of good for them. Psychologically, they were down and out after the pasting they took at Galle.
The Second Test at SSC, Colombo ended in an expected draw. Sri Lanka worked hard to ensure a draw which was sealed in the morning session through a solid partnership between Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews.
The SSC Test has come alive with Sri Lanka needed to bat extremely well on the morning session on Day 5 to ensure a draw. The match was considered to be dead once Dilshan and Sangakkara had gone past their respective centuries. However, a couple of late blows from young left arm pacer Junaid Khan inspired Pakistan to reduce Sri Lanka to 278 for 5 by Stumps on Day 4.
The SSC Test is meandering towards a meaningless draw as the crucial third day’s play saw two full sessions getting washed out by heavy rain. The Test match has hardly moved forward on Day 3 with Pakistan declaring its first innings at 551/6 and then managing to take just the one Sri Lankan wicket in 15 overs.
Pakistan finished Day 1 of the Second Test at SSC, Colombo with a commanding total of 334 for 1! Opener Mohammad Hafeez carried his bat through in the day’s play with an unbeaten 172 (from 281 balls with 18 fours and a six).
In the absence of their skipper Misbah-ul-Haq from the Test XI, owing to his ban over slow over rate, Pakistan looked all at sea at Galle. There is no guarantee that Pakistan would have won if Misbah had featured at Galle, but they would have put up a better performance for sure, for Misbah has the rare ability of getting his eccentric bunch of men to perform to the very best of their ability.
Pakistan, not for a moment, looked in control of the Galle Test. From day one, it was Sri Lanka that dominated the Test. And a lot of credit for that should go to the way Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara batted on the opening day.