Rain spoils Sri Lankan bid for win in third Test

Wet weather played spoil sport in Sri Lanka's bid to win the third and final cricket Test against Pakistan on the fifth and final day at Sharjah stadium here on Monday.

Persistent rain wiped out play in the pre-lunch session and when it finally started after two hours and 35 minutes delay, Sri Lanka declared their second innings at 181-6, setting Pakistan a target of 255 in a possible of 61 overs.

By tea, Sri Lanka had still taken three early wickets and were pressing for a win as Pakistan reached 61-3 with opener Taufiq Umar on an unbeaten 26 and skipper Misbah-ul Haq on four not out.

They need to bat out anoher 32 overs to save the match, while Sri Lanka need another seven wickets for an unlikely win.

Pakistan, leading the three-Test series 1-0 on account of their nine-wicket victory in the second Test in Dubai, started positively before losing Mohammad Hafeez (13), Azhar Ali (ten) and Younis Khan (11) in the space of 37 runs.

The first Test in Abu Dhabi ended in a draw.

Sri Lanka, who have gone 12 Tests without a win since beating India at Galle in 2009, had hoped to score some quick runs in order to set Pakistan a target and then get their rivals out for a victory.

But overnight rain and constant drizzle forced the umpires to keep the team away from the ground and had two inspection of the ground, part of which remained covered during the morning session.

When play finally resumed 35 minutes after the lunch resumption, Sri Lanka lost Kosala Kulasekara (seven) before declaring the innings at 181-6, after 2.2 overs of batting.

Opener Tharanga Paranavitana remained not out 76, made off 168 balls with five boundaries and a six.

Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal finished with 3-50 and paceman Umar Gul took 2-44.

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