Day 1: Sri Lanka score 233/7

Thilan Samaraweera closed in on century after Pakistan's pace attack made short work of the Sri Lankan top order batsmen in the first cricket Test.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:07 IST
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Thilan Samaraweera overcame cramps today to close in on century after Pakistan's pace attack made short work of the Sri Lankan top order batsmen in the first cricket Test. Samaraweera batted with a runner after developing cramps in his legs during the last session and finished the first day undefeated on 97, with 10 fours off 230 balls. His knock lifted Sri Lanka from a precarious 9 for 3 to a fighting 233 for seven as bad light stopped play five overs before schedule. Number nine batsman Ranagana Herath (28 not out), who hit six fours, was not out on 53 runs for the eighth wicket with Samaraweera. Brief recovery The 28-year-old Samaraweera, who scored a century in his debut Test against India in 2001, held on for nearly five and a half hours after paceman Shoaib Akhtar's (3-55) double blow in his first 12 deliveries had rocked Sri Lanka to 6 for 2. Three runs later paceman Mohammad Sami (3-66) had Mahela Jayawardene caught behind. Samaraweera helped the innings to a brief recovery when he put on 68 runs with Sanath Jayasuriya (38), then added 65 more with Jehan Mubarak (34). He brought up his seventh half century off 131 balls in the second session, hitting five fours before Akhtar and Sami struck back. Mubarak edged Sami's short delivery to Inzamam-ul-Haq in the slips while Chaminda Vaas hit five fours in his 22 but miscued a pull shot and gave a simple catch to Yousuf Youhana at mid-on. Cover boundary Despite losing three wickets in the last session, Sri Lanka managed to lift its run-rate and scored 91 runs after tea. Earlier, Jayasuriya - twice dropped - was the only wicket to fall in the second session. He brought up his 6000th Test run with a powerful cover boundary before Asim Kamal snapped a catch on the second attempt in the covers. Jayasuriya, playing in his 93rd Test match, is now his country's second highest Test scorer after Arvinda de Silva (6361). Decision backfires Earlier, Sri Lankan captain Marvan Atapattu's decision to bat first after winning the toss backfired on a wicket, which has a tinge of grass and suited Pakistan pacers in the first half an hour. Akhtar had Atapattu LBW off the third delivery of the match before he induced an edge of Kumara Sangakkara's (2) bat in the next over to a diving Imran Farhat in slips. Sami had Jayawardene caught behind for a duck as Sri Lanka limped to 9 for 3 in the first 4 overs, before Jayasuriya and Samaraweera played cautiously and took Sri Lanka to 58 for three. (PTI)