Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Sharjah, 5th day November 7, 2011

Pakistan take series after rain-hit draw


Sri Lanka 413 (Sangakkara 144, Dilshan 92, Ajmal 4-132) and 181 for 6 dec (Paranavitana 76*, Sangakkara 51) drew with Pakistan 340 (Younis Khan 122, Misbah 89, Azhar 53, Welegedara 5-87) and 87 for 4
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Pakistan extended their impressive run in Test cricket since the spot-fixing scandal deprived them of three first-choice players, securing a series win over Sri Lanka on a rare rain-hit day in Sharjah. Fittingly, Misbah-ul Haq, the man who took over as captain and provided a backbone to a team that was in disarray last year, remained unbeaten to ensure there were no implosions and confirm the draw.

The result extends Sri Lanka's winless streak to 14 Tests, again highlighting their struggle to come to terms with the loss of Muttiah Muralitharan. They betrayed a lack of killer instinct by batting on the final day of this must-win Test, despite a three-hour rain delay. They were 237 ahead by stumps on the fourth day, a sufficiently large lead in a match where the run-rate had been around two-and-a-half over the first four days, but they weren't confident enough to declare at the start of play when 67.2 overs remained. Instead of going all out for a victory, they inexplicably batted out four overs before calling an end to their innings.

Pakistan needed a high-octane start if they were to make a serious tilt at the target of 255 in 61 overs. Their openers began briskly, with Mohammad Hafeez slashing a couple of fours past point early on. Pakistan were 20 for 0 midway through the fifth over, but their momentum was taken away by a direct hit from substitute Lahiru Thirimanne at midwicket, which caught Hafeez short.

Taufeeq Umar and the usually watchful Azhar Ali decided to shut shop, and Pakistan focused on playing out the overs for a draw. With the Sri Lanka spinners getting some turn, Pakistan scratched out six runs in an 11-over spell. Rangana Herath and Suraj Randiv kept the batsmen on a leash, and Sri Lanka employed a clutch of close-in fielders as they hunted for quick wickets.

Sri Lanka's strikes came from contrasting deliveries. A ripper from Herath accounted for Azhar, trapped lbw after the ball drifted in before curling sharply away, while Younis Khan was dismissed by a pedestrian length delivery that he punched to the mid-on fielder.

Still, Taufeeq firmly resisted and Misbah showed off his defensive mastery once again to drain Sri Lanka's hopes. Their 15-over blockade nearly put the match to bed, but Sri Lanka perked up when Taufeeq irresponsibly slapped a short Randiv ball to Kumar Sangakkara at point. The spinners persevered and should have had another breakthrough when Asad Shafiq nicked to the keeper but the umpire failed to spot it.

It was comfortable for Pakistan in the end, with Shafiq and Misbah stonewalling 16 overs in the fading light. Misbah even shared a light-hearted moment with Sangakkara as the match wound down, jokingly imitating a left-hand batsman. With Pakistan winning their first series over a better-ranked team since they beat India at home in 2005-06, Misbah could well afford to smile.

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 9, 2011, 19:18 GMT

    Hi Cricinfo..... Where is Pakistan Teams group picture with trophy ?

  • Dummy4 on November 8, 2011, 22:27 GMT

    first congratulations to all the pakistan players for there win. i think sanga has to come back and lead the sri lanka team. you see you cant depend on dilshans batting if sanga mahela fails sri lankas side is done. what sri lankas players as well as the others has to learn from sanga is how cool he is playing he is a class batsman to watch. regards to umpire solomans (i think his name is) i am no very happy with his umpiring . all the machers has go with DRS of what ever the new tec they have as the umpires are makeing mistakes as if we see as they support one side so to be fare to all and to have a fare game bring in the referrel sym.

  • HASSAN on November 8, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    With the squad PAK has picked for one day..i think the team should be...1.M HAFFEZ 2 S.MALIK 3 Y KHAN 4 U AKAML 5 MISBAH 6 A RAZZAQ 7 S AFRIDI 8 SFARAZ W/K 9 U GUL 10 J.KHAN 11 S AJMAL...2 fast bolwers 1 meduim and option of 4 spin bowlers... Also Y khan and Misbah to play all teh overs while the others bat around them....

    Batting upto 8...with the last 3 also able to bat/smash it around..At the top attacking the middle experince..and razzq and Boom Boom to up the tempo..

  • Dummy4 on November 8, 2011, 16:03 GMT

    Good performance by pakisatan but misbah defensive strategie and some drop catches make it 1-0 other wise pak deserve 3-0 as pakistan is known for aggresive perfoemance it was a good apportunity for pakistan to get n0.5 in icc ranking srilanka on other hand performed well in 3rd test good luck for upcomming ODI s

  • Ameer on November 8, 2011, 15:23 GMT

    Well done Pakistan! I was hoping for a 2/0 series victory of Pakistan but A BIRD IN HAND IS BETTER THAN TWO IN THE BUSH. Great job by Misbah and Co. and good luck for the ODIs! Also welcome back to boom boom Afridi the heart of Pakistani cricket fans.

  • Dummy4 on November 8, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    @waqar adnan akmal is a specalist wicket keeper.. his batting is not that goood which should be but his keeping was marvelous .... dropping only 4 catches in 9 tests......... taking 9 catches in one match... it is something which u cant denied....

  • Dummy4 on November 8, 2011, 14:04 GMT

    It was good effort by wounded Pakistan Team over year and so... So much happening around. We need to cheer them up. Rather then criticizing. And on the other hand Sri Lanka's bowling attack is a baby with out Murali. And honestly Mahela and Dilshan disappointed me for their poor batting performance as they were very below from the power which they are known for. Star is always there. Sangakars impressive run score been exceptional in this series. I hope Sri Lanka will come back with fresh stratigy in the ODI's. And Pakistan will get strength in the names of Razzaq, Afridi and Umar Akmal. So i hope for the good cricket from both sides!

  • Faisal on November 8, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    First of all: Congratulations to the Pakistan team and their captain. Also (though of course I hope Pakistan wins), best wishes to Sri Lanka for the upcoming ODI series they are a nation who have stood by us in testing times, unlike our arrogant neighbor who misses no chance of exploiting any opportunity to hurt Pakistan cricket. Second, to people like Wasif and Stark: instead of being ungrateful and ruing the possibility of a 3-0 win, why can't you guys take a break, and compare Pakistan's performance from a year or so back, when we couldn't even honorably draw a test match, let alone win a series. Misbah has given stability and confidence to this side and he leads in a quite, subtle manner, without any hysterics or unnecessary flamboyancy. And I could agree with excluding him for T-20 but definitely NOT for ODI's where, without someone like him, Pakistan would struggle to bat the full 50 overs.

  • Nilantha on November 8, 2011, 10:16 GMT

    well done to Pakistan on a deserved series win, their bowlers were far superior to ours and they had solid batting also. without taking anything away from them, we must have a new captain as Dilshan, whislt he is a good player, is not a good captain..Our issues stem from the fact that we have inept management from SLC and also poor selections due to the politics that takes over our selections..If we want to survive as a top tier cricketing nation, we need to address this and captain, arjuna and aravinda in charge and no meddling from the minister...

  • Dummy4 on November 8, 2011, 9:26 GMT


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