Shafiq’s 131 and Sarfraz’s 96 help visitors take huge lead after struggling at 96-5 against Sri Lanka
Galle: Pakistan turned the tables on Sri Lanka in the first Test after Asad Shafiq hit a century to lead a remarkable rearguard action by the lower order on the fourth day on Saturday. The tourists, who resumed the day at 118-5 in reply to Sri Lanka’s 300, piled up 417 in their first innings before being dismissed in the post-tea session with a lead of 117 runs in Galle.
Pakistan’s Asad Shafiq en route his 131 against Sri Lanka on Saturday. PIC/AFP
Sri Lanka were 63-2 in their second knock at stumps, having lost first-innings centurion Kaushal Silva (five) and star batsman Kumar Sangakkara (18) in the 21 overs before close.
Azhar Ali caught Silva at third slip off Wahab Riaz and later snapped up Sangakkara at short-leg off Yasir Shah. Opener Dimuth Karunaratne was unbeaten on 36 and nightwatchman Dilruwan Perera had yet to score as Sri Lanka enter the final day’s play on Sunday still trailing by 54 runs with eight wickets in hand.
Pakistan’s last five wickets put on 321 runs after the top five had fallen for 96 as the home team’s bowlers struggled on a slow pitch. Shafiq was last man dismissed for 131, his seventh Test century and the third in the last four matches.
Sarfraz Ahmed scored 96 off 86 balls during a sixth-wicket partnership of 139 with Shafiq. Sarfraz missed his Test century when he ambitiously attempted to sweep a ball from seamer Dhammika Prasad that was pitched outside the off-stump and dragged the ball onto his stumps. Tailender Zulfiqar Babar smashed a career-best 56 off 60 balls with six boundaries and two sixes as he helped Shafiq add 101 valuable runs for the ninth wicket.
Sri Lanka vs Pakistan, Day Five: Ten Cricket & Ten HD, 09:45
Sri Lanka 300 & 63-2 (Karunaratne 36*; W Riaz 1-11) trail Pakistan 417 (Shafiq 131, Sarfraz 96, Zulfiqar 56; D Perera 4-122, D Prasad 3-91) by 54 runs