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Pakistan dominate after Asad Shafiq's amazing resistance

Pakistan dominate after Asad Shafiq's amazing resistance
Asad Shafiq scored a resilient ton as Pakistan took a vital 117-run lead in the first innings against Sri Lanka in Galle.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Sri Lanka 300 & 63-2 (Karunaratne 36 no)
Pakistan 417 (Shafiq 131)
First Test, Galle, day four

Asad Shafiq scored a resilient ton and Sarfraz Ahmed played a brilliant counterattacking innings as Pakistan managed a lead of 117 with a chance to win the game, at stumps on day four of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.

Pakistan resumed the day in some trouble at 118 for five. Sarfraz Ahmed (96) showed early intent with couple of fours off Rangana Herath (1-99) and then couple more off Dhammika Prasad (3-91).

Shafiq (131) was lucky early on as a ball from Dilruwan Perera (4-122) grazed the stumps without disturbing them.

Sarfraz raced away to a half-century in just 45 balls in a 10-run over from Perera.

Pakistan managed 200 for five in the 59th over. However, Sarfraz fell agonisingly short of a brilliant ton as he attempted a reckless sweep off Prasad to a full delivery, dragging the ball on to his stumps.

Pakistan went into lunch at 259 for six thanks to that brilliant counter-attacking innings followed by Shafiq’s steady half-century.

Sri Lanka took the new ball as soon as it was available.

After the wonderful 139-run partnership with Sarfraz, Shafiq added another 38 with Wahab Riaz (14) and 29 with Yasir Shah (23) who played a quick-fire cameo with four fours.

Yasir took Pakistan into the lead with a four off Nuwan Pradeep (2-71) but fell the next ball off a short delivery.

Zulfiqar Babar (56) played some exquisite strokes and helped Shafiq reach his seventh Test hundred with a four, charging down the track hitting the ball right over the bowler’s head.

A tough chance from Shafiq was dropped by Angelo Mathews (0-12).

Babar and Shafiq added 101 for the ninth wicket in just about 19 overs with the former going at a strike-rate of 93.

Shafiq was the last man to go, stumped, as Pakistan garnered 417 to take a lead of 117 runs, with their last five wickets adding 321 runs. Perera finished with four wickets for Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka began nervously, Kaushal Silva (5) given out first over after an Ahmed Shehzad blinder at backward short leg. Silva reviewed and survived the decision as there seemed to be no glove on the ball as suspected.

However, Silva couldn’t get a move on and was eventually out off a slower delivery from Riaz (1-11) that was edged to Azhar Ali at third slip.

Ali dropped a tough chance off Kumar Sangakkara (18) at short leg, when the latter was still to get off the mark.

Sangakkara and Dimuth Karunaratne (36 not out) who played quite a few shots added 45 runs for the second wicket.

But, Sangakkara fell an over before stumps, sadly for Sri Lanka, edging a massively turning delivery from Shah (1-21).

Sri Lanka ended the day on 63 for two after 21 overs, still trailing by 54 runs. Pakistan have a genuine opportunity to win the game if they bowl well in the first session on the final day.

© Cricket World 2015