Pakistan take control in the first Test

Pakistan take control in the first Test

Shafiq’s hundred and 96 from Sarfraz help visitors grab lead of 117 runs

By (AFP)

Published: Sun 21 Jun 2015, 12:12 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:48 PM

Galle — Pakistan turned the tables on Sri Lanka in the first Test after Asad Shafiq hit a century to lead a remarkable rearguard action by the lower order on the fourth day on Saturday.

The tourists, who resumed the day at 118-5 in reply to Sri Lanka’s 300, piled up 417 in their first innings before being dismissed in the post-tea session with a lead of 117 runs in Galle.

Sri Lanka were 63-2 in their second knock at stumps, having lost first-innings centurion Kaushal Silva (five) and star batsman Kumar Sangakkara (18) in the 21 overs before close.

Azhar Ali caught Silva at third slip off Wahab Riaz and later snapped up Sangakkara at short-leg off Yasir Shah.

Opener Dimuth Karunaratne was unbeaten on 36 and nightwatchman Dilruwan Perera had yet to score as Sri Lanka enter the final day’s play on Sunday still trailing by 54 runs with eight wickets in hand. Pakistan’s last five wickets put on 321 runs after the top five had fallen for 96 on Friday as the home team’s bowlers struggled on a slow pitch at the Galle International Stadium.

Shafiq was last man dismissed for 131, his seventh Test century and the third in the last four matches following scores of 137 against New Zealand in Sharjah and 107 against Bangladesh in Dhaka.

Sarfraz Ahmed scored 96 off 86 balls during a sixth-wicket partnership of 139 with Shafiq, his overnight partner.

Sarfraz missed his fourth Test century when he ambitiously attempted to sweep a ball from seamer Dhammika Prasad.

Tailender Zulfiqar Babar, essentially a left-arm spinner, smashed a career-best 56 off 60 balls with six boundaries and two sixes as he helped Shafiq add 101 valuable runs for the ninth wicket. The entertaining partnership ended when Babar was caught in the deep, while Shafiq was stumped soon after to terminate the innings. Off-spinner Perera finished with four for 122 and seamer Dhammika Prasad took three for 91, but seasoned left-arm spinner Rangana Herath went for one for 99 in 30 overs. 

More news from Cricket