Shafiq, Sarfraz give Pakistan handy lead against Sri Lanka
GALLE – Asad Shafiq’s seventh hundred and a belligerent 96 from Sarfraz Ahmed propped up Pakistan’s innings and gave the visitors a sizeable lead against Sri Lanka on the fourth day of the opening Test at Galle on Saturday.
Sri Lanka had hoped for quick wickets when Pakistan resumed on 118 for five but a sixth-wicket stand of 139 between Sarfraz (96) and Asad Shafiq (115 not out) put paid to their chances.
Pakistan were 390-8 at tea and with a first-innings lead of 90. Zulfiqar Babar (51) was the other unbeaten batsman.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz put Sri Lanka’s disciplined attack in disarray with his innovative batting and hit 13 fours in his 86-ball knock.
A similar unorthodox shot, when he tried to play a sweep against fast bowler Dhammika Prasad, brought about his downfall as the ball took the inside edge and went on to hit the stumps.
The dismissal gave Prasad his third wicket of the innings and Sri Lanka their only success in the session.
Shafiq on the other hand was calm and composed during the partnership and hit five boundaries in his 226-ball stay.
One of the fours brought up his hundred as the right-hander danced down the track to loft off-spinner Dilruwan Perera straight back over his head.
Shafiq continued to frustrate Sri Lanka’s bowlers with useful partnerships with the tail.
He added 38 with Wahab Riaz (14) for the seventh wicket and another 29 for the eighth with Yasir Shah (23) that took Pakistan past 300.
The unbroken 88-run stand for the ninth wicket with Babar, who also posted his highest test score and first 50, took Pakistan’s lead close to three figures.
Pakistan 1st innings (Overnight: 118-5) M. Hafeez c Karunaratne b Prasad 2 A. Shehzad lbw b Prasad 9 Az. Ali lbw b Herath 8 Y. Khan b D. Perera 47 Misbah-ul-Haq c Sangakkara b Pradeep 20 A. Shafiq st Chandimal b D. Perera 131 S. Ahmed b Prasad 96 W. Riaz b D. Perera 14 Y. Shah c Chandimal b Pradeep 23 Z. Babar c Vithanage b D. Perera 56 J. Khan not out 6 Extras (lb-1 nb-3 w-1) 5 Total (all out, 113.1 overs) 417 Fall of wickets: 1-2 M. Hafeez,2-11 A. Shehzad,3-35 Az. Ali,4-86 Y. Khan,5-96 Misbah-ul-Haq,6-235 S. Ahmed,7-273 W. Riaz,8-302 Y. Shah,9-403 Z. Babar,10-417 A. Shafiq Bowling D. Prasad 24 - 4 - 91 - 3 N. Pradeep 19 - 1 - 71 - 2(nb-2) R. Herath 30 - 4 - 99 - 1 D. Perera 31.1 - 3 - 122 - 4 A. Mathews 6 - 1 - 12 - 0(nb-1) K. Vithanage 3 - 0 - 21 - 0(w-1) Sri Lanka 2nd innings K. Silva c Az. Ali b Riaz 5 D. Karunaratne not out 36 K. Sangakkara c Az. Ali b Shah 18 D. Perera not out 0 Extras (b-4) 4 Total (for 2 wickets, 21 overs) 63 Fall of wickets: 1-18 K. Silva,2-63 K. Sangakkara To bat: L. Thirimanne, A. Mathews, K. Vithanage, D. Chandimal, D. Prasad, R. Herath, N. Pradeep Bowling W. Riaz 6 - 3 - 11 - 1 J. Khan 4 - 0 - 19 - 0 Y. Shah 7 - 1 - 21 - 1 M. Hafeez 4 - 1 - 8 - 0 Referees Umpire: Richard Illingworth Umpire: Paul Reiffel TV umpire: Chris Gaffaney Match referee: Chris Broad. –Reuters