Shehzad Century As Pakistan Cut Deficit
Ahmed Shehzad scored his maiden Test century as Pakistan narrowed the deficit to Sri Lanka to 137 runs at stumps on day three of the third and final Test in Sharjah.
Shehzad scored 147 before Pakistan closed on 291 for six in reply to Sri Lanka's 429 for eight declared on day two.
It meant that he succeeded where Dilruwan Perera had failed for Sri Lanka, dismissed for 95 shortly before their declaration.
However, three wickets for Rangana Herath, two for Shaminda Eranga and one for Perera have left Pakistan with plenty still to do if they are to get on terms or take the lead as they strive to stop Sri Lanka, who are 1-0 ahead, claiming a series win.
Pakistan resumed the day on 19 without loss and made excellent progress with openers Shehzad and Khurram Manzoor (52) putting on 114 together.
Manzoor was caught down the leg-side by wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene off Eranga having faced 125 balls and hit four fours.
Azhar Ali (8) then became Perera's maiden Test wicket when he edged straight to Angelo Mathews at slip. Bizarrely, the batsman opted to review the decision; one of several poor reviews by Pakistan in the series.
Herath struck the first of his blows when Younus Khan was also caught by Jayawardene looking to play to leg having made 17.
Shehzad, meanwhile, reached his century off 230 balls and continued to bat well, and almost reached 150 until he got himself out as much as being dismissed by the bowler. He attempted to reverse sweep a Herath delivery that he could have left alone, edging it onto his stumps.
Understandably, he could hardly bring himself to leave the crease but it was a superb innings and one that has kept his side in the game. In all, he faced 275 balls, hitting 12 fours and a six.
Asad Shafiq was then trapped by Eranga for 18 and just as Pakistan looked as if they might make it through to stumps with no further loss of wickets, Herath ensured Sri Lanka ended the day strongly by having Sarfraz Ahmed caught behind for five.
Misbah-ul-Haq was left unbeaten on 36 and much of Pakistan's hopes now rests on how many runs he can get along with the lower order.
Herath ended the day with figures of three for 88, Eranga two for 53 and Perera one for 71.
© Cricket World 2014