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Azhar Ali stands firm on another slow batting day in Abu Dhabi

Azhar Ali remained unbeaten on 74
Azhar Ali remained unbeaten on 74

Pakistan 266-4 (Azhar 74no) v
Sri Lanka 419 (Chandimal 155no)
First Test, Abu Dhabi, day three

Pakistan top order came up with a solid batting performance as they went on to post 266 for four at stumps on day three of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi to cut short their trail to 153 runs.

Earlier, Pakistan resumed the day with a score of 64 for naught. The 100-run stand between the openers Shan Masood (59) and Sami Aslam (51) came in the 37th over.

Both the openers crossed their respective half-centuries but few overs later, Dilruwan Perera (1-58) trapped Aslam LBW. Sri Lanka had to use a review to overturn the decision.

Rangana Herath (2-57) too joined the act as he castled Masood and Pakistan went to lunch at 121 for two, adding just 57 runs in the session.

As the runs were hard to come by, Pakistan made slow progress and during the course of the session, Azhar Ali (74 not out) completed 5,000 Test runs and with 73 runs post lunch, the home side went on to post 194 for two, with Asad Shafiq (39) also looking solid at the other end.

In the second over of the final session, Herath had Shafiq caught in the slips, ending his 79 run stand with Azhar.

Azhar completed his 26th Test fifty in the 92nd over and with support from Babar Azam (28), Pakistan crossed the 250 run mark.

However, in the last ball before stumps, Nuwan Pradeep (1-44) had Azam caught behind as Pakistan were restricted to 266 for four at stumps on day three.

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