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

Can put SL under pressure if we bat out first hour - Sarfraz

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sarfraz Ahmed, whose unbeaten 70 took the second Test into a fifth day, said Pakistan's lower order could put Sri Lanka under pressure if they survived the first hour.

"If we survive that then definitely we will score," he said. "If we survive two hours we will be around 200 ahead. They [Sri Lanka] will also be under pressure, but we are a bit ahead of them. If we score another 100 runs it will give us a good chance to come back into the match."

Sarfraz said the team management's backing allowed him to play his natural game despite his failure in the first innings. Sarfraz, who replaced the injured Adnan Akmal behind the stumps, was playing his first Test in nearly a year. He had scored 89 runs in his first four Tests, with a highest score of 40.

"I was under pressure because I was in and out of the team for quite some time," he said. "It was a good opportunity because I had been scoring runs in domestic cricket. Definitely I was under pressure after getting out cheaply in the first innings, but the team management backed me, I backed myself and that's the reason I played my natural game."

At stumps, Sarfraz had faced 123 balls and struck seven fours. He put on 67 with Bilawal Bhatti for the seventh wicket, after Pakistan captain Misbah was out for a 248-ball 97, with the team only 22 ahead. Sarfraz said his first-class experience helped him play through the period immediately after Misbah's dismissal.

"When I was batting with Misbah he was telling me a lot how to stay and play," Sarfraz said. "When Misbah bhai got out I tried to take the responsibility because I had batted through these types of situations in first-class departmental cricket. I tried to guide Bilawal and establish a good partnership and thankfully we did put up a decent partnership."

The pitch, Sarfraz said, was still good to bat on. "The pitch is playing well," he said. "You've seen Misbah and Younis [Khan] putting up a good fight. I will also try to keep the fight going on tomorrow and stay at the wicket as long as it is possible. If we stay at the wicket more, they will be more under pressure."

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