Saturday 11 January 2014 

Pakistan Graft For 107-Run Lead

Misbah-ul-Haq
Misbah-ul-Haq fell three runs short of a century as Pakistan continued to battle against Sri Lanka
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

Pakistan 165 & 330-7 (Misbah-ul-Haq 97) v
Sri Lanka 388 (M Jayawardene 129)
Second Test, Dubai, day four
Scorecard | Day One | Day Two | Day Three

Pakistan managed to bat through the fourth day of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Dubai despite losing the wickets of Younus Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq to lead by 107 runs at stumps.

Misbah fell for 97 and Younus for 77 but with Sarfraz Ahmed unbeaten on 70, Pakistan closed the day on 330 for seven in their second innings.

With bad light closing in, Sri Lanka did all they could to try to keep the game going by bowling Kumar Sangakkara but Pakistan held firm and play ended early despite Sri Lanka's best efforts.

Pakistan resumed 91 runs adrift on 132 for three and it wasn't long before Sri Lanka finally broke the Younus-Misbah partnership that was eventually worth 129.

Younus tried to cut Suranga Lakmal but played the shot poorly and was caught by Prasanna Jayawardene.

Misbah then added 52 for the fifth wicket with Asad Shafiq (23) as Pakistan closed in on an overall lead but they were 200 for five when Shafiq edged Shaminda Eranga to Dimuth Karunaratne at second slip, Sri Lanka striking with the new ball.

Misbah looked as if nothing would shift him, however, and with him and Sarfraz Ahmed building another solid partnership, Pakistan took the lead.

Just three runs short of a century, Misbah fell when he was bowled by Rangana Herath. It was an excellent delivery, drifting in and spinning away from Misbah and beating his defence. In all, he faced 248 balls, hitting eight fours and a six and now boasts an average of 59.4 as captain - second only to one Sir Don Bradman among those to have captained their country more than 20 times.

Still, if Sri Lanka thought that by removing Misbah they would quickly wrap up the rest of the innings, they were being optimistic.

Sarfraz joined forces with Bilawal Bhatti to add 67 for the sixth wicket and Bhatti, after a quickfire start, settled down to make 33 in 75 balls. He was unlucky when he was dismissed, defending a delivery from Eranga, only to see the ball roll onto the stumps and dislodge the leg bail.

It was a cruel way to go and Sri Lanka were delighted, but with Sarfraz defying them at the other end, closing on 70 not out in 123 balls, and Saeed Ajmal looking no less determined at the other, on seven, an intriguing final day remains in prospect after they could make no further breakthroughs.

© Cricket World 2014

 
Fixtures & Results

8th December: Pakistan v Afghanistan, Sharjah
PAK 138-4 beat AFG 137-8 by 6 wickets
11th December: 1st T20I, Dubai
PAK 146-7 beat SRI 145-5 by 3 wickets
13th December: 2nd T20I, Dubai
SRI 211-3 beat PAK 187 by 24 runs
18th December: 1st ODI, Sharjah
PAK 322-5 beat SRI 311 by 11 runs
20th December: 2nd ODI, Dubai
SRI 287-8 beat PAK 284-4 by 2 wickets
22nd December: 3rd ODI, Sharjah
PAK 326-5 beat SRI 213 by 113 runs
25th December: 4th ODI, Abu Dhabi
PAK beat SRI by 8 wickets
27th December: 5th ODI, Abu Dhabi
SRI 235-8 beat PAK 232 by 2 wickets
31st December-4th January: 1st Test, Abu Dhabi
SRI 204 & 480-5d. drew with PAK 383 & 158-2
8th-12th January: 2nd Test, Dubai
SRI 388 & 137-1 beat PAK 165 & 359 by 9 wickets
16th-20th January: 3rd Test, Sharjah
PAk 341 & 302-5 beat SRI 428-9d. & 214 by 5 wicket