Sri Lanka edged closer to winning the two-Test series against Pakistan on Sunday, showing brilliance with both the bat and ball to put themselves on the brink of glory.
Having added 282 to their first-innings haul of 320, Sri Lanka went on to limit Pakistan to 127-7 at stumps—putting them in the pole position to take the series 2-0.
Here’s a look at the Day 4 scorecards for both nations on a historic day for Sri Lankan cricket:
|W.U. Tharanga||b Rehman||45||63||5||0||71.43|
|J.K. Silva||c Khan b Rehman||17||72||1||0||23.61|
|K.C. Sangakkara||c Ali b Ajmal||59||130||4||0||45.38|
|D.P.M.D Jayawardene||c Shehzad b Ajmal||54||137||8||0||39.42|
|A.D. Mathews (c)||Not out||43||119||2||0||36.13|
|H.D.R.L. Thirimanne||b Ajmal||10||45||0||0||22.22|
|D.P.D.N. Dickwella||lbw Riaz||21||41||2||0||51.22|
|M.D.K. Perera||lbw Riaz||0||2||0||0||0.00|
|K.T.G.D. Prasad||run out (Ajmal)||19||40||1||1||47.50|
|H.M.R.K.B. Herath||b Riaz||0||4||0||0||0.00|
|U.W.M.B.C.A. Welegedara||run out (Riaz)||0||2||0||0||0.00|
|K. Manzoor||c Dickwella b Prasad||10||13||1||0||76.92|
|A. Shehzad||lbw Prasad||8||16||1||0||50.00|
|A. Ali||c Jayawardene b Herath||10||30||1||0||33.33|
|Y.M. Khan||lbw Herath||8||30||1||0||26.67|
|M.K. Niazi (c)||c Jayawardene b Herath||3||11||0||0||27.27|
|A. Shafiq||s Dickwella b Herath||32||62||5||0||51.61|
|S. Ahmed||Not out||38||63||1||0||60.32|
|A. Rehman||lbw Perera||5||10||0||0||50.00|
|W. Riaz||Not out||2||6||0||0||33.33|
Mahela Jayawardene Ends Test Career in Style
Sunday saw the curtain come down on Mahela Jayawardene’s Test career, as he took to the crease in the longer format for the last time.
The 37-year-old has played 149 Test matches for Sri Lanka during a remarkable spell at the top of the game, chalking up 11,814 runs in that time—as ICC revealed:
He rounded it off in perfect style, too, working his way to a half-century before eventually being dismissed for 54 by Saeed Ajmal.
The innings saw Jayawardene demonstrate exactly why he’s etched himself into cricket folklore for the ages, with a dynamic display at the crease, but it also presented a wonderful piece of sportsmanship from Pakistan.
As BBC’s Azzam Ameen revealed, the visitors presented a guard of honour for Jayawardene as he entered the game:
Mahela Jayawardena gets a guard of honor from Pakistan cricket team as he enters to bat in his final test pic.twitter.com/rmNtrwCG9w— Azzam Ameen (@AzzamAmeen) August 14, 2014
They didn’t go easy on him with the ball, though, and Ajmal’s dismissal was one of three that he claimed in the innings.
As his wicket fell, it brought about the end of an era for Sri Lankan cricket, and it's only fitting that his solid contribution looks like it could be the difference between the sides come Day 5.
That's something that captain Angelo Mathews hopes, too, as he said that Jayawardene is a rare breed of cricketer and one who deserves to go out with a bang, per AFP (via Gulf Times): “We want to win it for him. He has been the pillar of strength for us for so many years. We will miss him a lot. The best thing we can do is try and win the game and give him the best farewell that we could possibly give him.”
Though victory for the former captain does look all but secured, there's still work to do thanks to very mixed knocks by the Sri Lankan order.
Jayawardene’s batting partner, Kumar Sangakkara, enjoyed the best of the action with the bat, scoring 59, but three ducks on the card from Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath and Chanaka Welegedara saw the hosts limited to 282.
Pakistan, then, would have been full of confidence coming into their innings, but with Sri Lankan bowlers in high spirits and the SSC surface favouring them, it didn’t quite go according to plan for the visitors.
The early dismissals of Pakistan openers Khurram Manzoor and Ahmed Shehzad by Dhammika Prasad rather set the tone for the rest of the innings, and five wickets later, the misery was ended.
Herath continued his astonishing form by taking four wickets, bringing his Test total to an incredible 13.
It’ll hardly be surprising to see the spinner improve on that total on Day 5, with Pakistan’s wicket looking more and more vulnerable with every delivery.
Sarfraz Ahmed (38) and Wahab Riaz (2) will be in charge of trying to salvage something from the Test when the action recommences on Monday, but they’ll likely just be delaying the inevitable.
Needing 144 runs to win with just three wickets left to spare will hardly give Pakistan encouragement, and Jayawardene looks like he's bowing out from Test cricket with a victory.