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Sarfraz-Shafiq keeps Pakistan in hunt of series levelling win in Dubai

Asad Shafiq remained unbeaten on 87
Asad Shafiq remained unbeaten on 87

Sri Lanka 482 & 96 (Riaz 4-41) v
Pakistan 262 & 198-5 (Shafiq 86no)
Second Test, Dubai, day four

Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed shared an unbeaten 146 run stand as Pakistan reached 198 for five at stumps on day four of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Dubai in a chase of 317 runs.

Chasing a total of 317 runs, Shan Masood (21) survived a review for LBW in the first over but Lahiru Gamage (1-27) had Sami Aslam (1) caught in the slips, three overs later.

Azhar Ali (17) struck a couple of boundaries but Pakistan adopted a cautious approach that saw them score just 31 runs in the first 20 overs.

The pressure eventually got onto the batsmen as Nuwan Pradeep (1-6) removed Azhar while a triple strike from Dilruwan Perera (3-76) saw the back of Masood, Haris Sohail (10) and Babar Azam (0). Pakistan were reeling at 53 for five at that stage and went into the dinner break adding 12 more runs.

Just as Sri Lanka were looking to take control of the proceedings, Sarfraz (57 not out) decided to counterattack the Sri Lankan attack with Shafiq (86 not out) at the other end holding one end up.

Shafiq reached his fifty with a boundary in the 56th over while the Pakistan skipper needed 84 deliveries to bring his milestone as Pakistan were inching closer to the 200 run mark. Both the players dropped anchor in the final few overs and they ended the day with a score of 198 for five, needing 119 more runs to win the game and level the series.

Earlier, Sri Lanka resumed the day with a score of 34 for five, having a lead of 254 runs. Niroshan Dickwella (21) played positively with four boundaries but soon became Wahab Riaz's (4-41) fourth victim.

Rangana Herath (17) played a flurry of stokes before the visitors were bowled out for 96 runs in 26 overs to set a target of 317 for Pakistan.

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