Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Dubai, 4th day January 11, 2014

Pakistan take fight into final day

101

Pakistan 165 (Manzoor 73, Pradeep 3-62, Herath 3-26) and 330 for 7 (Misbah 97, Younis 77, Sarfraz 70*) lead Sri Lanka 388 (Mahela 129, Silva 95) by 107 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Fernando: Both teams will be pleased after dour day

Pakistan's leader Misbah-ul-Haq batted with limitless patience and rookie Sarfraz Ahmed punched his way to a maiden half-century to give their side a glimmer of hope of saving a Test that once seemed lost. Pakistan painstakingly accumulated 198 runs on the fourth day but lost only four wickets, and with some rain forecast in Dubai on Sunday, Sri Lanka could get nervous if Sarfraz and the tail extend the lead much beyond 107.

It requires tremendous confidence in one's skills for a batsman to remain scoreless for a long period and then plod along unperturbed at his own, unattractive pace. Not many in the modern game have the mental strength to bat like Misbah does. He resumed on 53 off 119 balls, and then stayed scoreless during the first hour, making his first run off his 37th delivery. When he was dismissed for 97 shortly before tea, Misbah had taken 129 deliveries to score 44 on the fourth day and ensured Sri Lanka would have to bat a second time.

After Misbah's vigil came to an end, Sarfraz upped Pakistan's tempo in the company of two-Test old Bilawal Bhatti. They played shots on a pitch that had become unresponsive for the bowlers, and though Sri Lanka's attack did not err, the runs came faster. Pakistan scored 65 runs in 21.3 overs after tea, after making 133 runs in 53 overs in the first two sessions.

Though Sri Lanka's breakthroughs were few and far between, each strike set Pakistan back a long way because of their sedate scoring. And whether Misbah's stagnation in the morning had an impact on his more experienced partner Younis Khan is arguable. With Pakistan trailing by 91 at the start, Younis had made the early play against Sri Lanka's seamers, driving with the fluency that had brought him a half-century the previous evening.

He had been standing outside his crease to negate the swing though, and when Suranga Lakmal sent down a short and wide ball outside off stump, the extra bounce resulted in a top edge as Younis tried to cut and Prasanna Jayawardene took his fourth catch. With no runs coming at the other end, perhaps Younis had felt the need to hack at the deficit whenever he could. The fourth-wicket stand had produced 129 and Younis was gone for 77.

Only after the first drinks break did Misbah get going, by flicking Lakmal to long leg for two. Maybe that brought on a little adrenalin surge for Misbah as he pushed hard at the next ball and edged to collect a boundary to third man. And after that he was struck on the pad by one that seamed in, but the lbw appeal was turned down because the impact had been too high. Misbah subsequently slowed up again and only turned aggressive when Rangana Herath was brought on late in the session, slog-sweeping the spinner's first ball to the boundary.

Misbah's partner in a 52-run stand for the fifth wicket, Asad Shafiq, also batted cautiously, but with flashes of colour. When Shaminda Eranga or Nuwan Pradeep gave him width, Shafiq flayed his bat to cut to the point boundary. He also drilled Herath hard down the ground but between those shots, he was measured.

Shafiq countered Eranga's reverse swing with the old ball by getting his front outside off and defending confidently. When the new ball was taken, however, Eranga began to seam the odd delivery away and Shafiq was less sure of his footwork. He ended up prodding at an away-going delivery and edged to second slip. Pakistan were still 23 behind.

Sarfraz was the most brisk of Pakistan's batsmen. Sri Lanka always felt they had a chance when he was on strike but Sarfraz made crisp contact with his shots. His 45-run partnership with Misbah came at more than three runs an over and gave Pakistan the lead. In the last half hour before tea, however, Herath drifted the ball into the right-hander from round the wicket, pitched on middle, and spun it past the outside edge of the bat offered in forward defence to hit off stump. Misbah had been dismissed on 97, leaving some in the Pakistan dressing room in shock. They were only 22 ahead.

If Sri Lanka had hopes of a four-day finish, they were squashed by Sarfraz and Bhatti, who continued their enterprising alliance in the final session by playing busily. Sarfraz brought up his 50 off 73 balls, and enjoyed a let-off on 51 when Lakmal could not hang on to a return catch.

As the lead grew closer to a 100, Angelo Mathews spread his catchers and it needed an inswinging yorker from Eranga to break the partnership on 67. Bhatti did extremely well to jam his bat down on the ball, but it snuck through to clip leg stump before he could swat it away.

Sarfraz became more careful in the company of the first tailender Saeed Ajmal, and played for stumps as it grew darker and began to drizzle. With the umpires checking their light meters often, Sri Lanka gave Kumar Sangakkara a bowl for only the fourth time in Tests in the absence of any proper part-timers in their wicketkeeper-laden XI. His only over cost seven and took Pakistan's lead past 100.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on January 12, 2014, 21:11 GMT

    Misbah always ends up paying for the upper order lack of commitment.

  • MS94 on January 12, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    SL will win this easily. And what is Rameez Raja's obsession with Umar Akmal? That guy has no patience and barely plays well in ODI's, so why does he think he can survive a test match?

  • on January 12, 2014, 7:23 GMT

    Hallo SLslider Please give a break to them,they are doing better under the prevailing condition. you are an embarrassment, they are at their beginning, will improve as the time passes as they have the ability and talent. l

  • Nuwas on January 12, 2014, 7:00 GMT

    SL is on the track early in the morning, good to see Lakmal is getting better & where is Pradeep? Mathews was keeping him out so often, can not understand his view.ANyway hope SL would play sensibly & grab the win..

    Few bluffers out here trying to console themselves by making senseless comments about other teams, considering their team's current rough patch I say we need to feel sorry for them... poor guys...

  • roook on January 12, 2014, 6:48 GMT

    Bringing hafeez back was a disaster he donot deserve to be no 3 batsman with test average of just 33. Our 3 batsman consistently failed in tho matches hafeez, asad shafiq and ahmed shezad no match winning performances. Asad shafiq seems so rusty no practice match for him. Hafeez has no excuse he has serious problem against pace bowlers this is test cricket not ODI

  • SLslider on January 12, 2014, 5:54 GMT

    Great fight by PAK. But what can you expect from a team whose two frontline boowlers have averages of above 60. This SL attack should be the worst in the world at the moment. As a SL fan its an embarrassment.

  • Yousufahmed1 on January 12, 2014, 5:36 GMT

    Definition of LEGEND in Sri Lanka. Any batsman who has an average of 30 is a Legend of the game. LOL. Going by that definition every team in the world even ZIm and BAN has at least 5-6 LEGENDS in their team and top teams are carrying 8 LEGENDS every time they take the field. LOL.

  • Yousufahmed1 on January 12, 2014, 5:35 GMT

    Here is Mahela's test averages in SA-27.87, NZ-27.71, aus-31.42, England-34.11, Bangladesh-38.12, UAE-13.37.

    True colombo track bully. LOL

  • on January 12, 2014, 5:25 GMT

    pak need a more effort is recquired to save the match carry on for atleast first session and score some healthy runs other wise all over for pak

  • VKohlitheGreat on January 12, 2014, 4:58 GMT

    @ Albert_cambell : About your comment on Misbah being better than Sachin, I wont say much because yea Misbah is really good but still surely better then those legends of SL who average 34 even after scoring most of their runs on the flat tracks of Colombo.

  • on January 12, 2014, 21:11 GMT

    Misbah always ends up paying for the upper order lack of commitment.

  • MS94 on January 12, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    SL will win this easily. And what is Rameez Raja's obsession with Umar Akmal? That guy has no patience and barely plays well in ODI's, so why does he think he can survive a test match?

  • on January 12, 2014, 7:23 GMT

    Hallo SLslider Please give a break to them,they are doing better under the prevailing condition. you are an embarrassment, they are at their beginning, will improve as the time passes as they have the ability and talent. l

  • Nuwas on January 12, 2014, 7:00 GMT

    SL is on the track early in the morning, good to see Lakmal is getting better & where is Pradeep? Mathews was keeping him out so often, can not understand his view.ANyway hope SL would play sensibly & grab the win..

    Few bluffers out here trying to console themselves by making senseless comments about other teams, considering their team's current rough patch I say we need to feel sorry for them... poor guys...

  • roook on January 12, 2014, 6:48 GMT

    Bringing hafeez back was a disaster he donot deserve to be no 3 batsman with test average of just 33. Our 3 batsman consistently failed in tho matches hafeez, asad shafiq and ahmed shezad no match winning performances. Asad shafiq seems so rusty no practice match for him. Hafeez has no excuse he has serious problem against pace bowlers this is test cricket not ODI

  • SLslider on January 12, 2014, 5:54 GMT

    Great fight by PAK. But what can you expect from a team whose two frontline boowlers have averages of above 60. This SL attack should be the worst in the world at the moment. As a SL fan its an embarrassment.

  • Yousufahmed1 on January 12, 2014, 5:36 GMT

    Definition of LEGEND in Sri Lanka. Any batsman who has an average of 30 is a Legend of the game. LOL. Going by that definition every team in the world even ZIm and BAN has at least 5-6 LEGENDS in their team and top teams are carrying 8 LEGENDS every time they take the field. LOL.

  • Yousufahmed1 on January 12, 2014, 5:35 GMT

    Here is Mahela's test averages in SA-27.87, NZ-27.71, aus-31.42, England-34.11, Bangladesh-38.12, UAE-13.37.

    True colombo track bully. LOL

  • on January 12, 2014, 5:25 GMT

    pak need a more effort is recquired to save the match carry on for atleast first session and score some healthy runs other wise all over for pak

  • VKohlitheGreat on January 12, 2014, 4:58 GMT

    @ Albert_cambell : About your comment on Misbah being better than Sachin, I wont say much because yea Misbah is really good but still surely better then those legends of SL who average 34 even after scoring most of their runs on the flat tracks of Colombo.

  • VKohlitheGreat on January 12, 2014, 4:32 GMT

    @ yorkslanka : If you are asking this even after having seen how the pitch has changed in these two tests mostly in favour of SL, I might have to say you wont need a stamp.

  • on January 12, 2014, 3:40 GMT

    If pakistan put anothor 120 to the total they will have a real chance but on attacking mode.

  • mensan on January 12, 2014, 2:13 GMT

    @t20cric You are correct! How I missed Haris Sohail. He has been good.

    Its high time that Misbah-Hafeez friendship should end. Misbah should stop supporting useless Faisalabad/Suigas players like Hafeez, M. Salman, Asad Ali.

  • on January 12, 2014, 0:20 GMT

    Misbah..THE MAN legend.....talk about technique and patience....word MISBAH!

  • Crick_Expert on January 11, 2014, 22:51 GMT

    Very dis-appointment performance from ASAD SAFIQ, RAHAT ALI. They MUST drop from TEST Team forever.

  • Crick_Expert on January 11, 2014, 22:47 GMT

    Only RAIN can safe PAK, that only hope I have for 5th day.

  • on January 11, 2014, 22:37 GMT

    hafeez should say bye bye to test cricket he is ruining Pakistan

  • on January 11, 2014, 22:23 GMT

    Well ther is few face need to chang in team afcourse haris sohail sohaib maqsood new keepr afridi and sadaf hussain and imran need to change with asad shafiq sarfarz ahmed hafiz rahat ali

  • FredJ000 on January 11, 2014, 22:07 GMT

    I am really impressed with both of these teams. Bags of talent.

    Sri Lanka are an exciting prospect with these young fast bowlers. I am starting to wonder about what is going to happen when they rock up to Lord's at the beginning of the English summer. England are in a mess and all eyes will be on them to perform and rebuild but part of me thinks the Sri Lankans could really upset the apple cart. It's one thing playing against proven experienced players but sometimes playing against unknown quantities is harder. How much data do England really have on Pradeep or Lakmal? What their strengths are. And we all know Herath will destroy KP if he plays.

    You heard it here first. Upset at Lord's. Chandimal century, Pradeep 5 for. Sri Lanka take the series 1 - 0

  • on January 11, 2014, 21:52 GMT

    first session is very important sarfaraz made century

  • yorkslanka on January 11, 2014, 21:40 GMT

    Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (January 11, 2014, 13:22 GMT) Whats with the fielding (dropped catches) and over rate of SL? Apart from bowling on seamer friendly conditions and scoring runs on flat tracks, do they need conditions suitable to them on that front too??

    so explain how the wicket is seamer friendly but also flat too ? if i give you a postage stamp , you can write what you know about cricket on it for us...

  • on January 11, 2014, 21:27 GMT

    Hafeez, Asad, Khurrum and Shahzad are all flat track bullies and one day players They should not be part of a test squad Pakistan should try Shan Masood, Sohaib Maqsood not Fawad Alam Javed

  • on January 11, 2014, 21:00 GMT

    hafeez must be replaced and bring Azhar Ali back in playing XI. Rahat needs to be replaced by Talah if pak gets a chance to bowl at 180 plus total n Rahat missfire again but if Bhatti is not fully fit for next test than.give Rahat a last chance before sending him domestic circuit. Continue with Asad Shafiq he s just a bit low on confidence after SA ODI series but he is a good player n showed it in past by scoring four 100s against good teams. Ajmal really needs rest for one test match as he has been over bowled n looks tired now.it gives a chance for Abdul Rehman to play a test in this series. Rest of the team is doing fine

  • Ray24 on January 11, 2014, 20:56 GMT

    For those who criticize Asad Shafiq regularly, please learn about the game. Asad has an average of 37 in 25 odd games. This is higher than Imran, Amir Sohail, Ramiz Raja, Hafeez, Saqid Mohamad, close to the great Majid Khan (at 38) and many other so called greats. He currently stands at number 18 in Pakistan's all time list. If he plays for long enough, he has the potential to go amongst the top 10 easily. He just scored a 100 against SA in UAE and in SA. So please just don't judge based on how you see the game. Judge on numbers and comparisons.

  • Fogu on January 11, 2014, 20:27 GMT

    Some really silly comments here. Younis is an abject failure. Really! Misbah plays for hundred but needs to play for 200. Again silly. Can't get to 200 without 100. PK had to survive day 3 & 4 to make it a game and that is exactly what they have done. If they had to bat at 2 run avg. that would have been ok too. Misbah, Younis and Sarfraz should be applauded. Misbah and Bhatti got out to good balls. SL did well as well. Good test match. Hoping to see PK take a lead of around 170-180. That would set up for an exciting finish. Really enjoying the match.

  • on January 11, 2014, 20:25 GMT

    Hold On @ is This The Same Bowling Attack Which Bold Out No 1 Rank Team England on 72 After Set 145 Target pakistan Is Still Alive In This Game

  • on January 11, 2014, 20:20 GMT

    misbah determined great player no doubt.but Sachin is not a comparable man . because he could have scored 50 more hundred if he is a selfish man???

  • on January 11, 2014, 20:04 GMT

    Asad Shafiq adds no value to this Pakistan outfit, in all formats. He needs to be released for good. He only has style and no stats to back his inclusion. I think Pakistan has yielded enough new talent to move on and pick the likes of Maqsood, moreover Anwar Ali would score more than Shafiq. Where Shafiq has been played in ODI's, he's never going to win you games, has he won games for us in the past? Highly doubtful. #TriedandTested

  • Albert_cambell on January 11, 2014, 19:44 GMT

    Misbah is an Awesome player. He never thinks about his Hundred.Always thinks about his teams position. Much Better than Sachin. Atleast Misbah doesnt play for records and boost his average. I wonder Pakistan will ever find a player like Misbah. He will be irreplaceable like Anwar,Yousuf, Inzamam, Miandad..etc. Nice to see a WK batsman scoring runs for pakistan. He totally surprised everyone.

  • on January 11, 2014, 19:29 GMT

    1.Haris Sohail,2.Rehan Afridi(keeper),3.Younas Khan,4.Sohaib Maqsood 5.Misbah ul Haq,6.Fawad Alam,7.Bilawal Bhatti,8.Imran Ali Khan 9.Saeed Ajamal,10.Junaid Khan,11.Sadaf Hussain These are the best 11 available now in Pakistan for test cricket

  • on January 11, 2014, 19:10 GMT

    Always enjoy Pak vs SL matches regardless of format it goes from extremely boring to nail bitters ..,, Asas is enough , maqsood could use a chance . Let's hope sarfraz can save the test or a fighting total so that we are done with Akmal plus he can make up for drop catch .

  • on January 11, 2014, 18:20 GMT

    Pakistan has an outside chance to save this test. Sarfraz needs to be patient and the tail-enders just to defend and remain at the crease. Hope they are out there at least till lunch. Rain is yet another factor on Sunday.

  • mainul079080 on January 11, 2014, 18:19 GMT

    I always said that Asad Shafiq is ordinary and not more than a first class cricketer and i told before this test that he will fail.Sarfraz will surely succed. Look at his first class record as WC batsmen. Amazing. In 98 matches he averages above 40 with 7 hundred and 34 fifties. Give a long run and just wait for success.Adnan is also a club level players. Md Rizwan should only be the contender of SARFRAZ at this moment. Always give chance to high averaged domestic players. They wont disappoint you. Fawad Alam with an average above 50 dont get chance.So sad.Pak selectors (and also Misbah, as captain always has very strong hand in selection in subcontinent) should be accused of murders. They are murdering Pak cricket and the lives of talented lads like Fawad, Haris, Usman Salauddin.

  • t20cric on January 11, 2014, 18:13 GMT

    @mensan: Your top 5 prospects are good but what about Haris Sohail. His stats are:

    FC ave. 52.01 and test ave. NA, 11 100s in 57 matches so almost a century in every 5 FC matches like Fawad. He is also a left hander who deserved a debut in this series.

    Also Sohaib Maqsood is pretty good

    Sohaib Maqsood: FC ave. 43.44 and 6 centuries in 43 FC matches so he could be good later on (if FC stats are further improved).

    Mohammad Rizwan is a good wicketkeeper batsman and can be given a chance if Sarfraz goes through a bad patch in his career later on.

    Mohammad Rizwan: FC ave. 41.88 and 3 centuries in 41 FC matches.

  • t20cric on January 11, 2014, 18:01 GMT

    Good fightback from Pakistan and this kind of performance from the middle & lower order gives the feeling that if top order had stayed in their and made atleast scores of 20/30 each we may have been at 370+ for 5 or something like that. Shafiq really disappointed as he scored big in the last time Pak were in such a situation. People saying that Ahmed is not for test cricket need to be patient cuz he could possibly score big later. If you check then Shehzad's FC avg is marginally higher than Sarfraz's but look how Sarfraz is playing. If Shehzad is also given chances he may be a good player. Khurram seemed good scoring a match winning century against SA but will need to score another one or else he will be replaced. Hafeez on the other hand is a different story & doesn't deserve to be on the test side & I would actually pick even Afridi ahead of him in tests as both have same number of centuries but Afridi played 8 less matches also Afridi has a better strike rate.

  • on January 11, 2014, 17:59 GMT

    Hey Pakistan! It would be nice to see the opposition trying to get out of a hole for a change and fighting to save the game.

  • on January 11, 2014, 17:51 GMT

    well done sarfaraz to his maiden fifty to bring exciting contest in final day

  • on January 11, 2014, 17:48 GMT

    This was the best chance for Asad shafiq to play his long tuk tuk innings, there was no pressure for him to score quickly yet once again he has been disappointing. Time for him to return to domestic circuit.I think we may also see end of Hafeez as a test player, If you cannot score against SL modest bowling attack on home conditions, there are not many other options left for him.

  • on January 11, 2014, 17:31 GMT

    Pakistans brittle batting line-up was held together by a few gritty innings today but the failings are still too obvious. asad shafiq has had more chances than most, and hafeez, great when hes leading the ODI side against mediocre opposition, has yet to really convince he deserves a place at this level. These patchwork squads that pakistan are selecting from one tour to another are never going to work, and pakistans place in the test rankings will remain an erroneous conclusion. Misbah and Younis Khan need to blood some youth to the test arena before they also vanish over the horizon.

  • RahulPoonja on January 11, 2014, 17:30 GMT

    Caption after the first image says - Both teams will be pleased after dour day!! ha ha!! dour day!!!

  • on January 11, 2014, 17:05 GMT

    dead pitch at the moment,Pakistan played well though-If they can get 200 they have an outside chance because if they take wickets withthe new ball they can pressurise SL

  • dual.citizen on January 11, 2014, 17:03 GMT

    Wonderful test match, for Pakistan it is an acid test. It should open the eyes of PCB, selectors, players, and fans. We finally know who can take pressure, who can perform and who are worthless for tests. Test match can be won only and only if (1) you can take 20 wickets of the opposition (2) your batsmen provide reasonable cushion for your bowlers. I cannot say hat our bowlers failed, no they bowled their heart out. Ajmal seems a bit tired, more mentally, and lacks a partner at he other end... he performs better when other guys tightens at the other end and vice versa. Rahat bowled well without any luck, it happens often. Bhatti was a bit off color, junaid felt lot of pressure. The whole fault lies in our batting. Openers, Hafeez he bigges joke of test cricket, and Asad should all go. Hafeez should actually retire from test cricket otherwise he will lose confidence and may have to be dropped from ODIs. Bring Fawad Alam in middle order and groom him for #3.

  • on January 11, 2014, 17:00 GMT

    Match is at very interesting stage. It may take any dramatic turn .

  • blthndr on January 11, 2014, 16:57 GMT

    pakistan cricket is improving slow and steady....if selectors give chance more to deserving ones they will be on fast track....

  • shahnbej on January 11, 2014, 16:55 GMT

    Well played Pakistan team. Hope they will continue good effort tomorrow too and add some useful runs.

  • mensan on January 11, 2014, 16:43 GMT

    (continued)

    Shan Masood: FC ave. 35 and 5 100's in 63 matches. Seems over-rated. But has advantage of being left hander.

    Naved Yasin is also about 27. He has FC ave. of 42 with 15 100's in 78 matches. He deserves a chance.

    Asad Shafiq needs to show more character. He is about 28 age and needs to be persisted with.

    The 5 best batting prospects for Pakistan at the moment are:

    Umar Akmal: FC ave. 50 and test ave. 36. He deserves regular place in test side. He should build patience in himself.

    Fawad Alam: FC ave. 56 and test ave. 42. He scores a century every 5 FC matches. All stats are excellent. He is a left hander which is added advatage. He deserves regular place in test side, at least on Asian tracks.

    Usman Salahuddin: FC ave. 45 and 13 100's in 63 matches. He is a bright prospect.

    Kamran Ghulam: Young but looks talented. FC ave. 70 in 4 matches and good run in U-19 matches.

    Sami Aslam: FC ave. 40 in 14 matches (3 100's) at age of 18 is very good.

  • Zaltyfan on January 11, 2014, 16:38 GMT

    Pakistan after scoring an other 40 odd runs might miss a left arm spinner and hate a predictable Saeed who might not win them the games despite things may go in their favour.

  • drnaveed on January 11, 2014, 16:38 GMT

    well , with an injury to bhatti ,and if he doesn't play , i think the place of rahat ali is secure for the third test also.yes , he bowled without luck ,catches were dropped of his bowling , but still we need some other bowler in his place for the third test. also that , our selection committee ,should take bold steps for the next test by making changes in the final eleven, as we cannot even think of winning a test match atleast with this playing eleven.

  • on January 11, 2014, 16:38 GMT

    Great fight by Sri Lanka to pick up wickets on this dead flat pitch. There is no assistance to bowlers at all with the pitch slowing down. It will still be difficult to get the last three wickets tomorrow. Hope Sri Lanka can win it. Well played so far

  • on January 11, 2014, 16:32 GMT

    What is this going on? Things have been settled that one loses wicket himself. My dear friends this is not the story, no one desire to be out in such circumstances. We sitting in drawing rooms before T.V or present in the ground having national spirit all around become frustrated and nervous. My friends these players are human being. Both Hafiz and Shezad are best players in test cricket format too, however must be rotated by Sohaib or Azhar. Do not discard these talented players. Aman Ullah Khan from Brooklyn, Newyork

  • CricketChat on January 11, 2014, 16:29 GMT

    Match setup nicely for a lively last day finish. If Pak can bat till lunch for another 70-80 runs, this could turn out to be an exciting finish. Target around 180-200 will give equal chance to both teams to push for win. Hope there will be more fans in the stadium to enjoy the excitement.

  • mensan on January 11, 2014, 16:25 GMT

    Pakistan has big problem in top 3. Taufeeq Umar has finished. Imran Farhat is nearly 32. Umar Amin has disappointed in tests. Hafeez is 33+ age and his test average below 35; even his first-class average is below 35; he has been very poor against quality fast bowlers. Pakistan never gave chance to a classy batsman Aamir Sajjad who has FC average 40; he is now nearly 33 age. Khurram Manzoor is nearly 28 age with FC average 39; he seems over-rated and after 12 tests, he average is less than 30 which is poor.

    Nasir Jamshed has poor fitness; otherwise his FC average nearly 40 and 15 100's in 80 matches is acceptable.

    Azhar Ali has a good start in tests average of 38 which is even better than his FC average; he has played all his international cricket outside Pakistan; so his stats are better than many.

    Sohaib Maqsood has FC ave. of 43+ with 6 100's in 42 matches. He is about 27 age and is a bright prospect.

    (continued)

  • Pindia on January 11, 2014, 16:20 GMT

    Well done Sarfraz! If he can make a century it will send out a message: to SL in this match; on a personal level for Sarfraz; and to the cricket world. My feeling is if Pak can get close to 150 it will be a challenge for SL. It would then be all about Ajmal, and Hafeez should be given a chance with the hard ball. Ajmal should play aggressively with the bat tomorrow morning; and if he can contribute 20 or so that would be significant. On the basis of this performance whatever the outcome Sarfraz should be given a run with the gloves in tests and probably ODIs. Re team selections going forwards: I would personally keep this opening combo for Pak; would have Misbah and Younis at three and four; Shafiq or Azhar Ali at five; Hafeez at six on subcontinental pitches if he is going to bowl; Sarfraz; then the best bowlers Ajmal, Irfan when fit, Gul plus one other. If Hafeez doesn't play pick Afridi, Bhatti or Anwar Ali as the all-rounder. Rehman also has a claim to a bowling spot...

  • on January 11, 2014, 16:19 GMT

    Strange analysis by Ksekha. Misbah had no selfish designs to make a fifty and not to go for 100 or more is not in the hands of any player in the world. Single ball is sufficient to lodge concentration. He is an extremely good batsman to reach such big score even under the circumstances when his stalwarts were back in the pavilion with 19 runs on Board.It is beyond any shadow of doubt that every Pakistani has love for his country and nation. Let us pray that Sarfraz (who has already done a marvelous job come to the rescue of Pakistan and his wicket remain intact up to Lunch and one hour after lunch even and tail support him like Bhatti. Pakistan has played well and extremely well in the 2nd inning. Such losses after fight does not matter even it happen. Aman Ullah Khan

  • Herath-UK on January 11, 2014, 16:14 GMT

    Hope rail will not ruin the intriguing match. Great to see Misbah & Younis fight back, two good warriors, the only dependable batsmen in Pak camp. Wish best of luck for the Lanka to team in the chasing for a memorable win. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • JustIPL on January 11, 2014, 16:06 GMT

    Heroes are made in these pressure situations. All three in the top order namely ahmed, hafeez and manzoor and asad in the middle order failed to manage their potential under the testing situation of the 222 deficit. It was the litmus test that they failed. While they might still come good in easier days but for me their career should end now and next in line should be called from domestic cricket in the third test. Sarfaraz has shown his grit in the past as well but in ODIs and this innings will certainly give him great going in the future. He saved the face today when the fans has resigned after misbah's fall. Also, with rahat bowling looks extremely ordinary and with this bowling attack pakistan have lost their best bowling outfit tag.

  • on January 11, 2014, 16:04 GMT

    i think pak win is out of equation . or if not then very slim chance like 5-6%. SL batsmen are in form. pak bolwers are not up to mark and bhatti may not bowl. so a terrible collapse by SL is highly unlikely. and for that also. 1st pak need at least 60-80 more runs. and the hope for magic.

    the best result pak can get is a draw and that also with some help from weather. forecast is rainy anf depends how many overs we get. in any case, last 3 wickets need to drag as long as possible and score at least 60 runs. and that will also take some time out. and rain may also result in loss of some overs.

    wicket look ok to bat. chasing 200 with enough time available is possible for SL. unless pak bolwers do some magic out of bo where.

    SL ' s win chances are more with draw option as well. and chances for pak win are very slim.

  • I_amMirza on January 11, 2014, 15:54 GMT

    It's a matter of FACT that any team can not win test match until top order perform. In order to pile a big score, a team need 2,3 good partnerships, which surely Pakistan is missing. Pakistan's opening stand is disappointing again and again. Misbah, Younis , Sarfraz and Bhatti showed character today. I really think Srafraz should be in pressure tomorrow because he has great responsibility tomorrow. He should come up with positive approach, and try to help Saeed. Good Luck Green..

  • on January 11, 2014, 15:53 GMT

    some real laughable comments. Misbah's selfish or slow batting? its a test game and plenty of time left. still plenty left. pak need to bat time out of the game as well and thats what they did. i dont see any reason for them to be adventurous like younas did when things were going well. pak win in this game stilla distant thing. the best they can do is to get a draw and that only with some rain. with 1 bolwer short as bhatti might not bowl, and the form SL batsmen are in, i dont think they will collapse as badly as some people here are suggesting.

  • on January 11, 2014, 15:45 GMT

    well played Misbah and Sarfaraz. Pakistan needs more test players like Misbah and younus to strengthen thier batting line-up....

  • mensan on January 11, 2014, 15:44 GMT

    Pakistan lost 1 more wicket during the day than I was thinking. I expected 1 wicket per session (3 in whole day). I priase Younis, Misbah, Sarfraz and Bhatti. Asad Shafiq again disappointed. If remaining batsmen can play 30 more overs and take the lead upto 150, then Pakistan can draw this match with the help of rain.

  • on January 11, 2014, 15:43 GMT

    That was great to watch Sangakara bowling.

    The only thing I was worried of that Pak might lose another wicket.

  • on January 11, 2014, 15:36 GMT

    Good comeback pakistan team, well done Misbah, those who don't understand test cricket would only make comment of selfish batting by Misbah. It takes a certain kind of temperament and batting skill to bat for such long period of time without scoring in a test match to save the match. It is nevertheless incredible to see sarfraz come out and bat well, and they should try and bat until at least lunch, if they can manage to do that, then and only draw is likely and in that case pakistan have in fact done well to save the game

  • drnaveed on January 11, 2014, 15:34 GMT

    sarfaraz , really surprised all of us ,with his batting .he batted well ,both, beyond his capacity and capability as a batsman, to put Pakistani team in a position that now they can THINK about scoring another 80 runs atleast with those 3 remaining wickets , and THAN try to put pressure on the SL team , in the remaining 02 sessions , PROVIDED , the rain doesn't intervene , first to save them (if the play doesn't starts on time in the morning, as there is prediction of rain ,most of the day), and than the SL side (if they scored those 80 plus runs in the first session) from the jaws of defeat.before his innings Pak was not in a position to even think about any kind of a dream ,other than a defeat.

  • on January 11, 2014, 15:34 GMT

    younus losing his wicket to a horror shot was because misbah was not scoring at the other end,he lost his patience and saw an opportunity to score on a short and wide delivery but unfortunately edged to the keeper. i think its about time pak selectors realize for the last and final time that hafeez and shehzad are not test players

  • Desihungama on January 11, 2014, 15:33 GMT

    It's great to see the fight back by a Pakistani keeper which has sort of become elusive as of late. However, considering the deficiencies and technical faults of our players in particular the tail coupled with not being able to cope with pressure I have my doubts on them surviving first few overs. Now, should Sarfaraz and Co. does survive, I will say he has arrived! Doesn't matter how friendly batting conditions are (And when are the conditions friendly for our batsmen?), it's the pressure that is huge and to survive it and cope with it takes sheer content. Absolute thriller of a Test match. SL has given all they could and can't do nothing wrong. Pak can also be proud of no matter the result but a draw would be a win here for them.

  • on January 11, 2014, 15:15 GMT

    Well, there must be some changes in Pakistani squad for the third test.First of all drop Muhammad Hafeez in place of Sohaib Maqsood, drop Asad Shafique for Azhar Ali, Drop Raha Fateh Ali for Wahab Riaz/Gull,

  • on January 11, 2014, 15:00 GMT

    I was lucky to see Sangakkara's bowling :D

  • ksekha on January 11, 2014, 14:54 GMT

    If rain doesn't rescue Pakistan, then the blame for Pakistan should lie with selfish batting by Misbah-ul-Haq. Once again, Misbah failed to convert a fifty into a century. I have no doubt that if Misbah would have set as his main target to be saving his country and not his personal milestone, then the match would be heading for a draw. A batsman who averages close to 50 has proven his class and so should be aiming for 200 and even 300, yet his goal is to get to 100. Why is 100 such a big deal for Misbah when players that compare to him in terms of average, consistency and class, e.g. Amla, Jayawardene and Clarke have all scored 300, let alone 200s? Misbah was needed by his country but his personal target of 100 runs took priority for him. How sad to see a captain be so selfish. Test cricket is for big hundred getters and not for those selfish players that score 50s all the time.

  • on January 11, 2014, 14:48 GMT

    weldone and good luck for pak team

  • on January 11, 2014, 14:48 GMT

    Well played Pakistan, hafeez is the only culprit in the series very bad selection he is not a test player. Azhar ali is real test batsman and here is opportunity for him to got back his form but snatched by management only due to hafeez. Bhatti and sarfaraz are the good additions to boost tail. Sarfaz should keep the strike and if he managed to stretch the lead up to 150 plus then it would be real challenge for them and match would be open for all three possibilities. Good luck Pakistan

  • Sinhaya on January 11, 2014, 14:42 GMT

    Brilliant batting Misbah Ul Haq for a man nearing 40 years. As I am a huge fan of Misbah, have to day that he is definitely the 2nd best batsman for Pakistan in tests currently after Younis Khan. One advice for Misbah is the type of defensive batting today will work against Sri Lanka, but not against Australia, when Pakistan host Australia later this year for tests. Reason being that since they are the best bowling attack in the world today, aussies will be very intimidating if too defensive.

    As for Sri Lanka, cant be too harsh on the bowlers as conditions were quite batting friendly. Hope we get Pakistan all out in the 1st hour of play tomorrow and rain stays away. Pakistan no doubt can take heart even if they lose as this game will go on till late tomorrow.

    As the Lankan bowlers toiled hard today and with only 3 days rest before the 3rd test, Lakmal and Eranga should be rested and Senanayake and Dilruwan Perera should play.

  • on January 11, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    England despite being a better team on paper lost 5-0.The reason was nothing but conservative approach.Same thing is happening to Pakistan.

  • zarasochozarasamjho on January 11, 2014, 14:36 GMT

    1. When was the last time Younis scored more than 10 after being a good not-out overnight? 2. Sarfaraz has finally arrived - it is one of the most successful innings of any Pak batsmen in recent history. He has at last done justice to his first class average. Mind you he has only played 8 test innings previously and those were against the 2 strongest teams in the world, ie Australia and South Africa - and in their own backyards too. This where our top batsmen like Younis, Yousuf, and Inzimam were overall abject failures (unlike Salman Butt, Fawad Alam and Asad Shafiq). 3. Sarfaraz Nawaz and Bilawal Bhatti must be given a long run as they look promising and more consistent than the rubbish that we otherwise have. 4. Saeed Ajmal, and the pacers in particular have now to really perform to save/win the test for Pakistan. 5. I do hope that it does not rain as I do not want Pakistan to be saved by the rain. They shall have to earn respect by performing when the chips are really down.

  • dmqi on January 11, 2014, 14:35 GMT

    I stand by my prediction I made yesterday when Pak was 130 for 3, that they can take a lead of 150 max and SL will win by 4 to 5 wickets. I am still standing by my prediction. See the difference between Mahela and Younus Khan. Mahela played against hostile bowling and rescued his team. Younus played a poor shot at a very critical time and put his team in danger. He did not play with patience at time of need. Sarfaraz has saved them from poor defeat.

  • on January 11, 2014, 14:27 GMT

    Seems we are back in 60,s when nearly 70% tests ended in tame draw more so in Asia, but must have had much larger crowds those days. These two test have certainly not been tame so far.Ajmal did not deliver with ball a rare below standard performance from this great spinnr, time for him to compensate with batting. Pakistan needs to bat for 40-45 overs then we have a real thriller on hand. Never had any doubt about talent from Sarfraz, good that he proved otherwise we would have to see Akmals for many many more years.

    Well done Sri Lanka for fighting your way in first test. Now time for Pakistan to prove their mettle.

  • Haz95 on January 11, 2014, 14:21 GMT

    Imagine if any of the top 3 scored a 50 at least...We would have been on 370 or 380 with 6 or 7 down if that were the case...

  • Haz95 on January 11, 2014, 14:19 GMT

    Sarfraz has finally clicked but for how long, this could be a crucial and match winning/saving knock ...His FC records show that he can get into the team based on his batting alone and since he entered with a score of 165 recently I believe he is in good form(he's been opening in T20s and recently scored a career best 74 there too). Whether we win or not, at least we know our lower order is finally stepping up a bit. Anwar Ali I still believe is a better bat than Bilawal but bilawal seems the more better bowler as of now(both have immense potential 1 with pace and 1 with swing, this is why we need a top class bowling coach, either of the Ws or Shoaib Akhtar), Hafeez and Asad I hope will leave the scene for good now and we can bring back Fawad and Azhar. I hope Sarfraz will become better with age, we aren't expecting a De Villiers or Sanga, but at something along the lines of a Haddin/Prassana...Sarfraz(barring yesterday) is also a good wicketkeeper.

  • mzm149 on January 11, 2014, 14:14 GMT

    Sarfraz has played a handy innings at a time when it was mostly needed. No matter whatever the outcome of the game, he has cemented his place for quite a few series. Pakistan needs a wicketkeeper batsman. I hope this is not a one time show from him and he continues his form.

  • Tornado1 on January 11, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    I think now they should bring Umer Akmal back in test team and try may be at No.3. He is definitely better than Hafeez and Manzoor since he is the only genuine batsman in the team. May be try at Asad's place.

  • Muhammad_farhan1229 on January 11, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    Excellent come back by Pakistan...younas &misbah played realywell after then very good bating by sarfaraz & bhatti ...the lead of 200would might be saif the match for pakistan ...but a worry fact for pak is hafeez . asad these to player should be replace by sohaib maqsood and fawad alam & also manzoor replace by sami aslam if they select these players pak team would be on wining track../so please select the wright team....frm swabi kpk

  • jerryman on January 11, 2014, 14:06 GMT

    Well fought Pakistan.. SL must need to learn to be more ruthless and go for the kill. Will need to get the remaining 3 wickets within the 1st hour of play and try to reduce target to about 140 as this wicket will be difficult tomorrow.. should help the pace bowlers at the beginning and should take considerable turn tmrw .. The slow scoring may hurt Pak chances somewhat , but with the possibility of rain tmrw , the glorious uncertainties of cricket will prevail... Good luck lions .. keep roaring and fighting

  • mzm149 on January 11, 2014, 13:58 GMT

    This match is quite similar to the one played between India and Pakistan in Mohali in 2005 where there was deficit of 200 when Pakistan went into third innings, where top 3 batsmen failed, where wicket keeper played a match saving innings (don't know about here yet), where there were contributions from 4, 5, 6 batsmen (here only 4, 5 contributed), where a bowler contributed handy 30 odd runs. I hope the result is similar to that one or even better.

  • VKohlitheGreat on January 11, 2014, 13:54 GMT

    Wow, that has to be some batting performance by the batsmen of Pakistan under pressure and need I say their lower order has made it look so easy against the likes of Herath and others.. That too when the ball has started to turn.. In my view, in the context of the match, this half century by Sarfraz Ahmed already has higher significance than the 129 runs scored by Mahela.

  • Sageleaf on January 11, 2014, 13:42 GMT

    I think Pakistan has done well. If they have a lead of 150+ and the final day...Sri Lankans will have to bat well to win. Pakistan has the edge in this game as there is a reason why the match prolong to the 5th day. I was very surprised why Prasanna Jayawardene did not come closer to the stumps when Sarfraz was batting out side the crease for so long. SL gave Pakistan the freedom to score though it look tight.The day belong to the Pakistan team. Well done Misbah and Younis. I wont be surprised if Pakistan pull out a victory tomorrow. SL lost the plot totally. No space for complacency.

  • VKohlitheGreat on January 11, 2014, 13:22 GMT

    Whats with the fielding (dropped catches) and over rate of SL? Apart from bowling on seamer friendly conditions and scoring runs on flat tracks, do they need conditions suitable to them on that front too??

  • alipk52 on January 11, 2014, 13:17 GMT

    When yesterday I said how uncapable batsman our wicketkeeper is, Sarfraz's fighting innings is pretty much pleasure for me, this is the what I want from our keepers, he at least give me hint that he's capable to produce match-saving/winning innings, I hope he'll reach his 100 which will going to be best 100 I have seen from a Pakistani batsman, I remember Saaed Ajmal's partnership with the keeper that time Zulfiqar against England, what if Saaed Ajmal scores yet another fifty batting patiently with Sarfraz, and he can do that, even 160-180 lead's gettable if this 3 wicket bats with immense concentration, come'on guys keep on going!!

  • Sports4Youth on January 11, 2014, 13:17 GMT

    The partnership between SARFRAZ Ahmed and Bilawal BHATTI was one of the finest that I have seen in a long time from the Pakistani lower order. Any praise of BHATTI is not sufficient for braving his injury and discomfort and more that inspite of it he played better than the Pakistani top order. I am sure that if Bhatti and Sarfraz are given a fair opportunity they will improve Pakistan's tail in the days to come.

    Furhter, finally SARFRAZ Ahmed has silenced his critics. He has justified his selection and alsoi he has shown why his stats in the First Class are the way they are. Being unbeaten on 70 in the 5th Test speaks volumes of his talent. SARFRAZ also LOOKED Elegant.

    After 21 Tests ADNAN Akmal's highst is a 64 against Zimbabwe. furhter ADNAN got to play countiies like Banladesh, Zimbabwe, Newzealand etc in the 21 matches, still he averages a paltry 24.62. Even in his 3 games against SL his higest is just 41.

    ESPNCricinfo, Please Publish.

  • Sports4Youth on January 11, 2014, 13:16 GMT

    Many people including some commentator have been blaming Pakistan's lower order for their poor batting skills. But I say that in since quite some time it has been Pakistan's top order that has failed to give the neccessary impetus to the middle and lower orders.

  • Tornado1 on January 11, 2014, 13:15 GMT

    Sarfraz looks better than Akmals. I guess finally he adapted to international cricket. They should persist with him in upcoming tours

  • Sports4Youth on January 11, 2014, 13:10 GMT

    The partnership between SARFRAZ Ahmed and Bilawal BHATTI was one of the finest that I have seen in a long time from the Pakistani lower order. Any praise of BHATTI is not sufficient for braving his injury and discomfort and more that inspite of it he played better than the Pakistani top order. I am sure that if Bhatti and Sarfraz are given a fair opportunity they will improve Pakistan's tail in the days to come.

    Furhter, finally SARFRAZ Ahmed has silenced his critics. He has justified his selection and also he has shown why his stats in the First Class are the way they are. Being unbeaten on 70 in the 5th Test speaks volumes of his talent. SARFRAZ also LOOKED Elegant.

    After 21 Tests ADNAN Akmal's highst is a 64 against Zimbabwe. furhter ADNAN got to play countiies like Banladesh, Zimbabwe, New Zealand etc in the 21 matches, still he averages a paltry 24.62. Even in his 3 games against SL his higest is just 41. SARFRAZ is definately better than ADNAN.

  • Sports4Youth on January 11, 2014, 13:01 GMT

    Posted by Khurram S Chaudhry on (January 11, 2014, 11:59 GMT) :

    Agreed. This innings of SARFRAZ was always comiing, given the record that he has in the first class games. Also I am mightly impressed with the grit, determination, solidity and technique shown by yough BHATTI.

  • Sports4Youth on January 11, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    The partnership between SARFRAZ Ahmed and Bilawal BHATTI was one of the finest that I have seen in a long time from the Pakistani lower order. Any praise of BHATTI is not sufficient for braving his injury and discomfort and more that inspite of it he played better than the Pakistani top order. I am sure that if Bhatti and Sarfraz are given a fair opportunity they will improve Pakistan's tail in the days to come.

    Furhter, finally SARFRAZ Ahmed has silenced his critics. He has justified his selection and alsoi he has shown why his stats in the First Class are the way they are. Being unbeaten on 70 in the 5th Test speaks volumes of his talent. SARFRAZ also LOOKED Elegant.

    After 21 Tests ADNAN Akmal's highst is a 64 against Zimbabwe. furhter ADNAN got to play countiies like Banladesh, Zimbabwe, Newzealand etc in the 21 matches, still he averages a paltry 24.62. Even in his 3 games against SL his higest is just 41.

  • on January 11, 2014, 12:53 GMT

    Main difference for Pak is contribution from top3.

    Good fight back by Pakistan. 1st by 2 seniors Younas-Misbah. A bit disappointing by younas to get out like that after being so set. A handy 52 runs partnership between Misbah-Asad. Much more was reuired by Asad. But disappointing. He is experienced enough to avoid that ball on which he got out.

    Good fighting innings by Misbah. Pakistan lost his wicket at wrong time.

    superb by Sarfraz. Many of us didnt expect that from him but both sarfraz and bhatti played very well to drag game further. Bhatti played good with suspected injury. Unlucky dismissal in the end.

    Rain forecast for tomorrow as well. So if Ajmal - Sarfraz can drag it out in 1st session with Rahat then saving this match might be a possibility depending on how much time left.

    I think even 200 wont be a problem to chase here.

    SL still ahead and if time allowed, they can chase it as wicket is still ok for batting and bhatti might not be available.

    Long way to go for Pak.

  • on January 11, 2014, 12:52 GMT

    Well every runs and every minutes count for Sri Lanka. They should get those three wickets tomorrow before lunch to win this game. anything above 150 runs will be a tricky one but gettable if one can survive first few overs specially with a new ball

  • rezauk on January 11, 2014, 12:51 GMT

    Good effort from both sides today - SL bowled in the right areas - Pakistan played with more patience. The reason I believe thar SL are ahead in this match is application. Younis Khan batted well but a man of his experience gave it away with a poor shot. Asad Shafiq defended well but I find it hard to believe that he showed resolute defence until the new ball arrived - I'm sorry to say but he lacks courage - shot of a 2nd XI player who didn't fancy the challenge. Safraz today has shown what Test Cricket is all about with a dogged and attacking display , playing the ball on merit with a cool head. Bhatti chipped in nicely and will learn how to better defend a yorker in time. Anyway win/lose/draw I hope lessons have been learnt - Generally speaking SL's tight line with bold field placings has kept the score in check and forced a few errors.Hopefully Pakistan can apply themselves tomorrow.

  • on January 11, 2014, 12:04 GMT

    rain started on differents parts of dubai..funny part of cricket is on its way...:)

  • Tal_Botvinnik on January 11, 2014, 12:00 GMT

    Quite poor form our bowlers and captain. But the pitch isn't misbehaving at all. despite odd balls turning.

  • on January 11, 2014, 11:59 GMT

    Well played by Sarfraz. Many people have questions on his batting skills. But this innings was really good one. Bhatti is playing well as well. Hope he can stay there for many more overs with the problem in his leg. Bhatti might not be able to bowl in this game .

    Still a lot of work to do. Misbah's wicket was the big one. well fought innings but missed 100.

  • on January 11, 2014, 11:42 GMT

    last hope last recognised pair. all I remember in this situation is akmals and razzaq innings against india to save the test match.

  • Tal_Botvinnik on January 11, 2014, 11:25 GMT

    Not enough attacking from the captain, bowlers leaking runs to tailenders and the WK. Surprising to see Lakmal being under balled, he is the one who can get those yorkers in.

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  • Tal_Botvinnik on January 11, 2014, 11:25 GMT

    Not enough attacking from the captain, bowlers leaking runs to tailenders and the WK. Surprising to see Lakmal being under balled, he is the one who can get those yorkers in.

  • on January 11, 2014, 11:42 GMT

    last hope last recognised pair. all I remember in this situation is akmals and razzaq innings against india to save the test match.

  • on January 11, 2014, 11:59 GMT

    Well played by Sarfraz. Many people have questions on his batting skills. But this innings was really good one. Bhatti is playing well as well. Hope he can stay there for many more overs with the problem in his leg. Bhatti might not be able to bowl in this game .

    Still a lot of work to do. Misbah's wicket was the big one. well fought innings but missed 100.

  • Tal_Botvinnik on January 11, 2014, 12:00 GMT

    Quite poor form our bowlers and captain. But the pitch isn't misbehaving at all. despite odd balls turning.

  • on January 11, 2014, 12:04 GMT

    rain started on differents parts of dubai..funny part of cricket is on its way...:)

  • rezauk on January 11, 2014, 12:51 GMT

    Good effort from both sides today - SL bowled in the right areas - Pakistan played with more patience. The reason I believe thar SL are ahead in this match is application. Younis Khan batted well but a man of his experience gave it away with a poor shot. Asad Shafiq defended well but I find it hard to believe that he showed resolute defence until the new ball arrived - I'm sorry to say but he lacks courage - shot of a 2nd XI player who didn't fancy the challenge. Safraz today has shown what Test Cricket is all about with a dogged and attacking display , playing the ball on merit with a cool head. Bhatti chipped in nicely and will learn how to better defend a yorker in time. Anyway win/lose/draw I hope lessons have been learnt - Generally speaking SL's tight line with bold field placings has kept the score in check and forced a few errors.Hopefully Pakistan can apply themselves tomorrow.

  • on January 11, 2014, 12:52 GMT

    Well every runs and every minutes count for Sri Lanka. They should get those three wickets tomorrow before lunch to win this game. anything above 150 runs will be a tricky one but gettable if one can survive first few overs specially with a new ball

  • on January 11, 2014, 12:53 GMT

    Main difference for Pak is contribution from top3.

    Good fight back by Pakistan. 1st by 2 seniors Younas-Misbah. A bit disappointing by younas to get out like that after being so set. A handy 52 runs partnership between Misbah-Asad. Much more was reuired by Asad. But disappointing. He is experienced enough to avoid that ball on which he got out.

    Good fighting innings by Misbah. Pakistan lost his wicket at wrong time.

    superb by Sarfraz. Many of us didnt expect that from him but both sarfraz and bhatti played very well to drag game further. Bhatti played good with suspected injury. Unlucky dismissal in the end.

    Rain forecast for tomorrow as well. So if Ajmal - Sarfraz can drag it out in 1st session with Rahat then saving this match might be a possibility depending on how much time left.

    I think even 200 wont be a problem to chase here.

    SL still ahead and if time allowed, they can chase it as wicket is still ok for batting and bhatti might not be available.

    Long way to go for Pak.

  • Sports4Youth on January 11, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    The partnership between SARFRAZ Ahmed and Bilawal BHATTI was one of the finest that I have seen in a long time from the Pakistani lower order. Any praise of BHATTI is not sufficient for braving his injury and discomfort and more that inspite of it he played better than the Pakistani top order. I am sure that if Bhatti and Sarfraz are given a fair opportunity they will improve Pakistan's tail in the days to come.

    Furhter, finally SARFRAZ Ahmed has silenced his critics. He has justified his selection and alsoi he has shown why his stats in the First Class are the way they are. Being unbeaten on 70 in the 5th Test speaks volumes of his talent. SARFRAZ also LOOKED Elegant.

    After 21 Tests ADNAN Akmal's highst is a 64 against Zimbabwe. furhter ADNAN got to play countiies like Banladesh, Zimbabwe, Newzealand etc in the 21 matches, still he averages a paltry 24.62. Even in his 3 games against SL his higest is just 41.

  • Sports4Youth on January 11, 2014, 13:01 GMT

    Posted by Khurram S Chaudhry on (January 11, 2014, 11:59 GMT) :

    Agreed. This innings of SARFRAZ was always comiing, given the record that he has in the first class games. Also I am mightly impressed with the grit, determination, solidity and technique shown by yough BHATTI.