Colombo: The star of the fourth day of the ongoing Test match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo was definitely Junaid Khan, the young Pakistan left-arm seamer.
It wasn't, however, easy for Junaid, or the rest of Pakistan bowlers, on a day when there were frustrating rain delays as well as determined knocks from Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lankan centurions. "It is hard to bowl for long hours in such heat, but once you get a wicket and you see the ball reversing, it is all about rhythm," said Junaid, at the end of the day's play. "Once I have rhythm, I like bowling long spells."
Junaid's bowling, especially to the right-handers, was exemplary, and he credited Wasim Akram, the legendary Pakistani left-arm seamer, for his success. Not just the tips that Akram handed down during past interactions, but also the videos of Akram's bowling that Junaid has seen over the years. "I am a great fan of Wasim bhai, and he has worked with me as well. Talking to him and watching him swing the old ball, and use the around-the-wicket angle, like in the 1992 final, has helped me a lot," said Junaid.