Sri Lanka restricted to 219 by Iftikhar’s best

KARACHI, January 20, 2009 (AFP) – Pacemen Rao Iftikhar took a career-best 4-42 to help Pakistan restrict Sri Lanka to 219 in the first day-night international at the National Stadium here Tuesday. The 28-year-old medium pacer removed top-scorer Kumar Sangakkara (49), skipper Mahela Jayawardene (one) and Thilan Thushara (nought) to derail the visitors who had a solid start of 71 after winning the toss and opting to bat.

Iftikhar came as first change in a four-pronged pace attack and build on to an aggressive first spell by pace partner Umar Gul, who removed openers Tillakaratne Dilshan (42) and Sanath Jayasuriya (38) to put brakes on the tourists’ march.

Dilshan, included in the team after his twin hundreds in a Test against Bangladesh earlier this month, was dropped at 17 off paceman Shoaib Akhtar who went wicketless in his seven overs.

Dilshan hit seven boundaries off 33 deliveries before Gul had him caught by Salman Butt off a miscued hook.

Gul then trapped Jayasuriya before Iftikhar dislodged an out-of-form Jayawardene.

Sangakkara held the innings through a 54-run fourth wicket stand with Chamara Kapugedera who made 27. Sangakkara hit four boundaries during his