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    October 25, 2004

    Marvan Atapattu collected the third pair of his test career as Sri Lanka thrashed Pakistan by 201 runs in the first test at Faisalabad. Interestingly, Marvan now has the most number of ducks by a specialist/recognized batsman currently playing. Only Steve Waugh has more ducks than Atapattu and he retired last year shortly after he turned 79. Sri Lanka's poor first innings total of 243 was mainly due to some fiery stuff by Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Sami. Samaraweera played the lone hand with a wonderful century. In response, Pakistan never got going in spite of many batsmen getting starts and ended up with only 264.

    Sri Lanka's second innings sealed the game, with Sanath Jayasuriya imposing himself on the Pakistani bowlers with a stunning 253, the highest score by a Sri Lankan against Pakistan. His assault on Shoaib Akhtar when he approached his double century was awesome and his mastery over the proceeding is obvious from the fact that during their 101 run partnership, #10 batsman Dilhara Fernando scored one run. He was ultimately last man out and Sri Lanka had set Pakistan 418 to win, which would have equalled the world record. In spite of a bright start, Pakistan were never realistically in the hunt even though there was no Murali making fools of the batsmen. Dilhara Fernando's four wicket haul tore the heart out of the batting late in the day on the fourth day leaving Pakistan tottering on 91/4. Herath completed the formalities on day five and Sri Lanka went one-up in the series.
    Thus spake Jagadish @ 10:21 AM |
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