Lahore: Young Pakistan pacer Mohammad Sami claimed a hat-trick, but defeat still loomed for his team at the hands of Sri Lanka in the Asian Test championship final on the third day at Gaddafi stadium on Friday.
When it became too dark, even with floodlights, the umpires called off the game seven overs short with Pakistan on 193 for five facing a daunting 294 to avoid an innings defeat. Magic off spinner Muthiah Muralitharan snared three wickets to help Sri Lanka to a position from where it can force its ninth consecutive win with the home team struggling throughout its second innings. Experienced batsman Inzamam-ul Haq held the fort on an unbeaten 38, while Shoaib Malik was on six as Pakistan needed another 101 runs to avert an innings thrashing with two full days to play. Sri Lanka's first innings folded at 528 as Sami ran through the lower order. The Pakistan batsmen again failed to occupy the crease to counter the Sri Lankan pressure as they played reckless shots and brought about their own downfall. Overcast conditions brought floodlights into action in the seventh over of Pakistan's innings, which got off to another poor start when in the ninth over Taufiq Umer was bowled pushing tentatively at pacer Chaminda Vaas' delivery for 19. Younis Khan and Shahid Afridi took Pakistan to 63 for one, but in the second over after tea Khan failed to keep down a flick off Nuwan Zoysa and was smartly picked up at square leg by Thilan Samaraweera for 19. Afridi lived dangerously and was dropped on six by skipper Sanath Jayasuriya off Vaas. Afridi completed his fourth Test half century off 74 balls with seven boundaries and a six but failed to read a straighter one from Muralitharan and was stumped by Kumar Sangakkara for 70. Pakistan's most talented batsman Yousuf Youhana lasted only 11 deliveries before he recklessly holed out at long on off Muralitharan for seven. Play was halted for 10 minutes due to power failure but the home team's fortunes did not change as Abdur Razzaq followed Youhana when he was trapped leg before off a vicious incoming delivery from Muralitharan to leave Pakistan struggling at 181 for five. Earlier, Sami dismissed Buddhika Fernando in the last ball before lunch. With his next two deliveries after the break, he took out Nuwan Zoysa and Muralitharan to become Pakistan's third bowler to achieve a Test hat-trick, and the 30th in 127 years of Test cricket. Pacer Wasim Akram and Abdur Razzaq have also recorded hat-tricks, Akram in both forms of the game. "I am delighted and it's a great honour to join my favourite bowler Akram as a bowler with hat-tricks in One-dayers and Tests," an elated Sami said. Sami, who returned four for 120, also recorded a One-day hat-trick against West Indies in Sharjah last month thus becoming only the second bowler in the world alongside Akram with Test and one-day hat-tricks. Akram, however, holds the unique record of two hat-tricks each in both forms of the game.
Hat-trick for Sami, Sri Lanka bowled out for 528