Sri Lanka: 482/10 (Karunaratne 196; Yasir 6/184) & 96/10 (Mendis 29; Wahab 4/41)
Pakistan: 262/10 (Azhare 59; Herath 3/84) & 198/5 (Shafiq 86; Perera 3/76)
Pakistan have turned around brilliantly after losing the first 5 wickets for just 52 in the fourth innings. Chasing a target of 217 runs by Sri Lanka, the Pakistanis were once again rocked by the spin of Dilruwan Perera who removed three established batsmen in the Pakistani ranks. But a resilient partnership of 146 between Asad Shafiq & skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed has seen Pakistan come back brilliantly & dare I say, now are the favorites to take the win.
Sri Lanka could only manage another 62 runs to their overnight score of 34 for 5 before being bowled out for just 96. But thanks to their first innings lead of 220 runs, they were able set a target in excess of 300 for Pakistan. Pakistan survived an early scare when Shan Masood survived a Si Lankan review only just as the ball clipped the stumps rather than hitting the timber.
Lankan pacer Gamage removed Sami Aslam. Azhar Ali & Masood just couldn’t break the shackles. They only managed to conjure up 31 in 20 overs & eventually the pressure told. Pakistan crumbled when Azhar was dismissed with Masood, Haris Sohail & Babar Azam quickly following suit.
With Pakistan reeling & on the cusp of their first series loss at Dubai since making it their home ground, in stepped captain Sarfaraz. Along with Asad Shafiq, their brilliant partnership of 146 has rejuvenated Pakistan. Shafiq is in touching distance of a match saving ton with Sarfaraz also completing his half century.
Dubai’s pitch has already shown signs of life. Will the Pakistani duo bring home a memorable test win? Or will the Lankan bowlers show their magic like they did on the penultimate day of the first test? Only time will tell…