Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Sharjah, 3rd day January 18, 2014

Sri Lanka ahead despite Shehzad ton

113

Fernando: Sri Lanka can still win the match

Pakistan 291 for 6 (Shehzad 147, Manzoor 52, Herath 3-88) trail Sri Lanka 428 for 9 dec (Perera 95, Mathews 91, Sangakkara 52) by 137 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Ahmed Shehzad scored his maiden Test hundred but Pakistan's progress on the third day in Sharjah, despite a century opening partnership and 122 runs in the final session, was not swift enough to weaken Sri Lanka's grip on their 1-0 lead in the series. At their current pace the best Pakistan can hope for is to draw a Test they need to win, but with their middle order falling away alarmingly, they were far from certain of avoiding a first-innings deficit.

Pakistan's approach was curious. The surface, despite its crumbling appearance, had little seam, swing or spin for the bowlers but the batsmen did not attempt to force the pace for most of the day. Pakistan lost no wickets in the first session but their openers added only 66 runs in 29 overs. They then lost two in the second while scoring only 84 in 29 overs. Shehzad led the acceleration after tea, forcing Angelo Mathews on the defensive, but he was one of four wickets to fall in the session, which meant it was Sri Lanka who won the day.

The go-slow had begun after Pakistan got to 30 for 0 after nine overs; they scored only 12 runs off the next 13. The lack of pace off the pitch and the slow outfield hindered shot making and most of the early boundaries came via glances from Shehzad when the fast bowlers strayed on to the pads.

To try and make something happen for Sri Lanka, Shaminda Eranga bowled cross seam to rough up one side of the ball, and a few deliveries did tail in to the right-hand batsmen through the day. Herath operated from over the wicket, pitching outside leg stump, a line of attack he used for most of the day. Towards the end of the first session, Mathews placed six fielders on the leg side and Suranga Lakmal bowled very straight, making the batsmen play, often across the line.

Manzoor and Shehzad picked up the pace shortly before lunch but slowed down again after the break, when they played four maidens in the first five overs. Mathews brought himself on and conceded his first run only off the last delivery of his fourth over.

Things began to happen in the 42nd over, with Manzoor and Shehzad sweeping Herath for a three and a four, and Shehzad being dropped on 43 by Dimuth Karunaratne at midwicket. That over of excitement, however, was not a sign of things to come. Pakistan's century opening stand came up in 43.3 overs, and Shehzad got to his fifty off 150 balls, and Manzoor reached his off 120.

Eranga's reintroduction 12 overs into the second session brought Sri Lanka the breakthrough. He began to reverse-swing deliveries into the right-hander and Manzoor edged one that strayed down leg side to the keeper. He reviewed the umpire's decision in vain and the opening stand ended on 114.

Pakistan have made some horrible reviews in this series but none was worse than Azhar Ali's decision to challenge his edge to slip. It merely delayed the confirmation of Dilruwan Perera's maiden Test wicket, after the offspinner had to wait 42 overs on the second day to get a bowl.

Eranga and Lakmal then began to reverse the ball significantly - they had a 7-2 leg side field at times - but the movement was appreciable only in the air. The balls that hit the pitch were not as potent.

Shehzad brought up his century shortly after tea - his second 50 had taken only 80 balls - and accelerated after the landmark. He square drove Perera for four, drove Eranga on the up through cover, lofted the fast bowler over long-on for six, and carted the offspinner over his head to the straight boundary. During Shehzad's acceleration, however, Younis Khan, who had been rotating strike busily, was caught superbly down the leg side by Prasanna Jayawardene off Herath. He walked, leaving Pakistan 189 for 3.

In the company of Misbah-ul-Haq, Shehzad continued to raise his strike-rate, sweeping Herath and slog-sweeping Perera. The 50-run stand for the fourth wicket took 63 balls. Misbah's contribution was 11. And then Shehzad chose wrong, attempting to reverse-sweep a Herath delivery from a few feet outside leg stump. He was so shocked that the ball had gone on to bowl him off the bottom edge that he took ages to leave the pitch. Shehzad's last 47 runs had come off only 45 balls.

There was more pain for Pakistan, though. Having been denied numerous marginal decisions while bowling, Pakistan lost Asad Shafiq to an lbw appeal that umpire Richard Kettleborough upheld, but replays indicated the ball from Eranga would have only clipped leg stump. Shafiq reviewed and lost out to the umpire's call, which is fast becoming Pakistan's bane in this series.

And in the final over of the day, Herath got one to spin and bounce away from Sarfraz Ahmed, and Prasanna moved swiftly to his right to catch the thick edge. Misbah, unbeaten on 36 at the other end, was left with only the tail.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on January 19, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    @smiling... Why not walk into Imran Khan's shoes and show some guts and bravery. Can somebody explain why Misbah acts like a cowards and do not bat at #3 so that he does not run out of partners. Simply he is scared to face a new or semi new ball. Instead of winning a match for Pakistan he is more interested in his own records.

  • on January 19, 2014, 7:33 GMT

    What predicted yesterday has happened today. They are out before lunch and deficit is 88. Thanks to 16 runs of Junaid Khan otherwise it was more than 100. Situation is alarming for Pakistan. Long irresponsible tail of 5 men has resulted in deficit which may cost them the Match and 2-0 dubbing. Lot of immediate permanent changes are required in this Team and most important among them is a Wicket Keeper Batsman. All three Akmal brothers should never ever be considered. Sarfraz may please be omitted for ever. A young Wicket keeper cum batsman is the immediate requirement. Bowling department has gone week on account of the injury to Irfan, he will be back soon. In bating please bring Sohaib Maqsood in test cricket too. Find the replacement of Azhar Ali and Asad Shafique too, while there is no need to exercise with Abdul Rehman. Aman Ullah Khan /Brooklyn/NY/USA

  • BCCIRoxx on January 19, 2014, 7:17 GMT

    Pakistan are getting a taste of their own medicine... They are getting the same from better spin bowlers and better players of spin what their spinner do to lesser known players of spin... Their bowlers are thoroughly exposed during the three tests. I wonder how could people claim "the best bowling side"... :)

  • on January 19, 2014, 7:16 GMT

    Now we may have a game on our hands. Thanks Pakistan for making a match of it!

  • Smiling on January 19, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    Totally agree with you @ Sarfraz Nazir. Poor umpiring can determine matches. Exactly the point I made earlier...after that disastrous day of such poor umpiring, they knew and changed and once again Pakistan get the poor end of the stick. EXACTLY the same decisions NOT out when Pakistan bowled were given OUT when Pak batted. All we want is fair and consistent umpiring. And stop having a go at Misbah people...he is calm and strong and doesn't deserve such criticism. Walk even a day in his shoes and you will be worshipping the ground he walks on!!

  • on January 19, 2014, 5:04 GMT

    Pathetic from Pakistan, They are not performing even in their adopted home conditions.Atleast countries like Australia/India/South Africa have won comfortably on their home ground.

  • on January 19, 2014, 3:29 GMT

    It's the trouble back home that's what it is solve the trouble back home and you are On your way to second cricket World Cup title.

  • on January 19, 2014, 2:32 GMT

    Well played Ahmad Shehzad.... just keep going... there is a bit chance.. so good luck.

  • Hashsham- on January 19, 2014, 2:27 GMT

    Im bringing up a petit issue. Why Pakistan name is second to SL score card, at cricinfo main page on right side. It's Pakistan home series, it should be Pak vs SL. Kindly stop pushing us aside. Thanks.

  • cricpanther on January 18, 2014, 22:51 GMT

    Super Srilankans !!!! Well Done, Herath, Eranga, Parera and Mathews!! Herath is the discovery after Murlidharan.....great bowler. What has happened to Lakmal..wicket less.....I don't know how much burden will take by Herath alone.....fast bowlers should take wicket load...here Legend Chaminda Vass is badly missing by Srilanka!!! Common four more wickets and then take 400+ lead and match is yours...

  • on January 19, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    @smiling... Why not walk into Imran Khan's shoes and show some guts and bravery. Can somebody explain why Misbah acts like a cowards and do not bat at #3 so that he does not run out of partners. Simply he is scared to face a new or semi new ball. Instead of winning a match for Pakistan he is more interested in his own records.

  • on January 19, 2014, 7:33 GMT

    What predicted yesterday has happened today. They are out before lunch and deficit is 88. Thanks to 16 runs of Junaid Khan otherwise it was more than 100. Situation is alarming for Pakistan. Long irresponsible tail of 5 men has resulted in deficit which may cost them the Match and 2-0 dubbing. Lot of immediate permanent changes are required in this Team and most important among them is a Wicket Keeper Batsman. All three Akmal brothers should never ever be considered. Sarfraz may please be omitted for ever. A young Wicket keeper cum batsman is the immediate requirement. Bowling department has gone week on account of the injury to Irfan, he will be back soon. In bating please bring Sohaib Maqsood in test cricket too. Find the replacement of Azhar Ali and Asad Shafique too, while there is no need to exercise with Abdul Rehman. Aman Ullah Khan /Brooklyn/NY/USA

  • BCCIRoxx on January 19, 2014, 7:17 GMT

    Pakistan are getting a taste of their own medicine... They are getting the same from better spin bowlers and better players of spin what their spinner do to lesser known players of spin... Their bowlers are thoroughly exposed during the three tests. I wonder how could people claim "the best bowling side"... :)

  • on January 19, 2014, 7:16 GMT

    Now we may have a game on our hands. Thanks Pakistan for making a match of it!

  • Smiling on January 19, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    Totally agree with you @ Sarfraz Nazir. Poor umpiring can determine matches. Exactly the point I made earlier...after that disastrous day of such poor umpiring, they knew and changed and once again Pakistan get the poor end of the stick. EXACTLY the same decisions NOT out when Pakistan bowled were given OUT when Pak batted. All we want is fair and consistent umpiring. And stop having a go at Misbah people...he is calm and strong and doesn't deserve such criticism. Walk even a day in his shoes and you will be worshipping the ground he walks on!!

  • on January 19, 2014, 5:04 GMT

    Pathetic from Pakistan, They are not performing even in their adopted home conditions.Atleast countries like Australia/India/South Africa have won comfortably on their home ground.

  • on January 19, 2014, 3:29 GMT

    It's the trouble back home that's what it is solve the trouble back home and you are On your way to second cricket World Cup title.

  • on January 19, 2014, 2:32 GMT

    Well played Ahmad Shehzad.... just keep going... there is a bit chance.. so good luck.

  • Hashsham- on January 19, 2014, 2:27 GMT

    Im bringing up a petit issue. Why Pakistan name is second to SL score card, at cricinfo main page on right side. It's Pakistan home series, it should be Pak vs SL. Kindly stop pushing us aside. Thanks.

  • cricpanther on January 18, 2014, 22:51 GMT

    Super Srilankans !!!! Well Done, Herath, Eranga, Parera and Mathews!! Herath is the discovery after Murlidharan.....great bowler. What has happened to Lakmal..wicket less.....I don't know how much burden will take by Herath alone.....fast bowlers should take wicket load...here Legend Chaminda Vass is badly missing by Srilanka!!! Common four more wickets and then take 400+ lead and match is yours...

  • barryrichardsfan on January 18, 2014, 20:19 GMT

    the selections have been as baffling as ever by pak management. but lot of potential as usual, anyways. clearly unused the class of mohd. yousuf , did not make sense to me. he could have been a modern day great, good though he is. razzak,mahmood,asif,aamer,hameed,taufeeq come to the mind as well. 1shehjad 2afridi 3 umar akmal 4maqsood 5hafeez 6razzaq 7kamran 8aamer 9gul 10 irfan 11ajmal. flair has been their strength and they better stick to that.

  • on January 18, 2014, 19:37 GMT

    Shahzad played like a Shahan Shah (Prince of Princes'). Well done young man. But this match is headed for a tame draw. The ME pitches are without life. Why bother playing on them?

  • Pindia on January 18, 2014, 19:26 GMT

    Congrats to Ahmed Shehzad, he is a prodigious talent and showed he is an explosive player with the temperament for test matches. Think the pairing with Khurrum Manzoor should be given a chance. Rehman was ok but Hafeez has shown he can do the job with the ball in tests and overall is a better team contributor- Ajmal is always going to be the strike spinner so Hafeez is a better backup because he is likely to contribute 30 with the bat each innings and maybe the odd tonne. Azhar and Shafiq have not done enough. My best XI: Shahzad, Manzoor, Jamshed, Younis, Misbah, Hafeez, Sarfraz, Gul, Ajmal, Irfan, Junaid. Twelvth man: Bhatti/Talha/Anwar Ali. Ps plan for tomorrow: throw the bat in the morning and get close, plan to chase around 200 in the 4th!

  • blogossip on January 18, 2014, 19:25 GMT

    way match stands it seems a sri lankan victory or a draw. for PK to win, they need to bowl out SL for under 150 in third innings and hope they dont have to chase 250+. however Misbah isnt the sort of enterprising captain who will go for a win if its risky!

  • hamza893 on January 18, 2014, 19:02 GMT

    Now all three results are possilble and Kudos to Younis Khan ,you are a true gentleman. #Respect

  • Muhammad_farhan1229 on January 18, 2014, 18:43 GMT

    wellplayed AHMAD Shehzad..but again no one other bated well .if misbah wants to win matches they have to sovle the bating problem bcz our bating is very poor even .SAMI ASLaM.UMAR AKMAL. SOHAIB MAQSOOD. FAWAD ALAM these are the players should have to play. if M. AAMIR back it could be a real bonas for pakistan..BEST WISHES FOR PAKISTAN & once again wellplayed AHMAD SHEHZAD..

  • on January 18, 2014, 18:42 GMT

    what A Innings Played By Ahmed Shehzad Super Innings Which Kept Pakistan Still Alive In This Metch BABAR ALI BHAYO

  • on January 18, 2014, 18:25 GMT

    My impression of the umpiring in this match, particularly Kettleborough's, is that it has been somewha biased. Numerous marginal lbws went against Pakistan including one that was dead plumb when a guy was on 20 and went to get 90 odd. Sanga's nick may also turn out to be crucial in this match. When the Pakistani's turn to bat came, again the marginal decisions are going against them. Seems they have to get 20 wickets to get a team out once. The umpiring has already decided this match in SL's favour. It has demoralised the PAK team.

  • zzby on January 18, 2014, 17:59 GMT

    Misbah showed courage by dropping Hafeez which means he can also drop Asad in the next match(next series). Pakistan need to Play Zulfiqar Babar,Kashif Bhatti in slow turning test pitches.

  • sandeep33 on January 18, 2014, 17:58 GMT

    pakistan out of the race.pity they cant win their home matchs.

  • Crick_Expert on January 18, 2014, 17:47 GMT

    Asad Safiq and Azahar Ali should be drop from PAKISTAN all formats. They not deserve to play International level game.

  • Akhter786 on January 18, 2014, 17:47 GMT

    There is no point in criticising Sanga he is very honest , a gentleman of player. How the hell people can question his honesty nd integaity. He has nothing to prove. And i think umpires get handsomw paychecks for something. They should give the right decisions and if not satisfied people should use their reviews judiciously. Nevertheless Pakistan can consider themselves unlucky but that is the way how this game of cricket goes. No excuses can still be given for their shambles sort of batting on a pitch where even a debutant tailender can score 90 + .

  • t20cric on January 18, 2014, 17:29 GMT

    Pakistan are not in a really good position. Sure they are at 291/6 but the remaining 4 are all strictly bowlers (no allrounders) and Misbah is not really the best at batting with the tail. Asad Shafiq got unlucky with that decision against him but let's face it, how much would he have gone to make anyways. If he was not given out Pakistan may have been at 300+/4 or if Asad got out later then 300+/5. I really expected more from Younis or Azhar cuz they could have put us in a good position. Ahmed batted really well for his century & this shows that it was a good decision to keep him in the team. At this state Pak will not be able to get a 1st innings lead but will need to minimize the lead & then bowl out SL for very little & try to chase the given target positively on day 5. For future test series Pak will need to add Fawad, Haris, Umar and Sohaib to the test squad. Pakistan also need to find a good test allrounder for situations like this one.

  • ayanjafri on January 18, 2014, 17:05 GMT

    I think if Pakistan want to win they should take some risk which is. They should score quickly in first session tomorrow even if they loss wicket, a lead of even 75 will be ok. Then they should try to attack SL batsmen and get them out some how within the lead of 200 or 250 by tomorrow end and then chase this on 5th day. Taking risk is the only chance they can win otherwise going for a draw will not help. And people how think SL can win they sure can but when Pakistani batsmen are defending they can defend so more than a day. And if you have any doubt then check the last match played on this ground where PAK didn't play a shot for more than two sessions

  • Bdcricketdebator on January 18, 2014, 17:02 GMT

    Srilanka has impressed so far in this series.in this test match they have shown a very good fight nd sent pak a massage that they will not give up this match at all even though we r up in the series.l like this attitude.though lot of areas to improve if we want to compete with gaints.

  • SL_rockz on January 18, 2014, 17:01 GMT

    Indeed most ppl watching to blame sanga even at a tiny opportunity. WHy??? Because these ppl themselves know that he is a person who respects the spirit of the game more than anybody..Everybody knows who walks away before umpires decision, in cricket.Sanga and Gilly are the two pillars in this topic...Even umpires knew his sportsmanship..That is why rudi kurstun apologies from sanga after he was mistakenly given out in Australia when he was 192...Because Rudi also understood that if sanga nicked it he would walk away...No player has received such honors from an umpire after the match...This time he did not felt it was hitting..That is why he did not went..It was higher part of glove.A tiny brush will not feel.If not sure u may try it urselves..If sanga felt he would walk for sure.

    If you are not sure about how respected he is in cricket just google his name..

  • not_a_Flattrackbully on January 18, 2014, 16:58 GMT

    Statement under the Gentlement of game! Every people has thier own openion in many situations. Let me say mine about the incident of sanga. I also saw many occations that sanga walks away before the decision of the umpire and there were times even umpire decision was not out. We all watching the match through tvs. Judge through replays. Think about the time that sanga got to recognise it. It may be a bit of micro seconds. If sanga did it in purpose why? He already know everyone is watching the thing on replays. He said it was not from there. That's the way he felt . Is anyone here suggest to review his own not out decision?

  • bouncer709 on January 18, 2014, 16:43 GMT

    @Ranjit Goonewardena: It was Srilanka who batted negatively in their first innings, they played two days and scored only 428, now what do you expect from Pakistan, they should score the 428 in one day?

  • on January 18, 2014, 16:23 GMT

    Haha. Whatever happened to Shoaib Maqsood, why is he not in the test team. Story of Pakistan cricket. Let the good guys start late so that the seniors can finish late.

  • on January 18, 2014, 16:09 GMT

    Oh. massive moment here in sharjah. srilanka need take 4 wickets less than 15 overs herath,eranga , lakmal plese gets early morning.and karunaratna must play some good sbatting 4, run per over kaushal shouls give good start . sanga really good mahela in form Angelo Awesome prasanne yayawardene last chances in team chandimal career over in end of this tour. lets see 350 is good for pak last day help bowling for srilanka. pak can,t manage this sitution. herath on key morning. 2-0 could be a good chances for our lions. if srilanka won 2.0 srilanka 95 rating points 5 th icc test ranging 94 rating points pak at no 6 . good luck srilanka hats of...

  • ayanjafri on January 18, 2014, 16:08 GMT

    I think if Pakistan want to win they should take some risk which is. They should score quickly in first session tomorrow even if they loss wicket, a lead of even 75 will be ok. Then they should try to attack SL batsmen and get them out some how within the lead of 200 or 250 by tomorrow end and then chase this on 5th day. Taking risk is the only chance they can win otherwise going for a draw will not help. And people how think SL can win they sure can but when Pakistani batsmen are defending they can defend so more than a day. And if you have any doubt then check the last match played on this ground where PAK didn't play a shot for more than two sessions

  • stormy16 on January 18, 2014, 16:08 GMT

    Not sure why there is so much focus on umpires, the wickets, run rate etc the reality is Pak have been chasing the game after day 2 of the first test. They didnt make it easy for themeselves today but they can make a bold move and declare now and hope to catch SL on the blind side. It is still possible for Misba to get runs with the tail but it could also take away valuable time. A decleration would force SL to set a target, yes they may bat Pakistan out of the game but not sure how many choices Pakistan have.

  • ayanjafri on January 18, 2014, 15:57 GMT

    @mzm149 for your information and people who criticizes Asad. He scored two 50+ score in his first two innings. Then he had a fifty in the 2nd match against SL which PAK won and a match saving knock to draw the third match against them. Then he played a innings with Azhar to win against Eng in Abu Dhabi. Then a fifty against and 100 in same match to draw a test against SL in SL. The he scored a 50 and 100 in consecutive matches against SA in SA. Then again he did that against SA in UAE. there have been innings in between them which he didn't perform big but there is no batsmen in the world who can perform in each and every series. So please don't criticizes if you don't know.

  • mwjay on January 18, 2014, 15:39 GMT

    For all people who bash Sangakkara ,just Google "Sanga walks to a salute".I have seen many times sangakkara walk away like younis did.Why he should walk away if he didn't feel that he nicked the ball.Its all depend on the cognizance that someone is having at that moment.I have seen Gilchrist famous walking away in the 2003 world cup and also i have seen him not going off the field and waiting for umpire's decision.

  • on January 18, 2014, 15:39 GMT

    Not convinced that Pakistan is hellbent on winning this test match at any cost. If it was SL I would like to think that they would! The current run rate is just about 3 which means if they don't get bowled out it would take another two sessions to get to SL's score which does not give them enough time to amass a big enough score and then bowl SL out in the time available unless the pitch deteriorates drastically on day 4. Perhaps they know that they are not quite good enough to achieve that and this is just damage limitation. Wonder what the great Imran Kahn must be saying!

  • on January 18, 2014, 15:36 GMT

    Absolutely no time for azhar Ali or asad shafiq, woefully inconsistent. Let's be honest their fc averages indicate much the same which begs the question why were they brought in the 1st place. Genuinely talented n deserving plays like fawad alam, Harris sohail n others are left for rubbish like this. I'm happy bout the end of hafeez tho. But for how long?. Guaranteed if genuinely talented n proven batsmen in fc cricket were given the same opportunity then pak team would not have drawn so many series or lost. Misbah should be strong enough to see this as well as demand this but he's too busy keeping every1 but the fans happy in this regard.

  • Blade-Runner on January 18, 2014, 15:36 GMT

    @VKohlitheGreat; First, It was Pakistan's fault that they didn't use their reviews wisely. If they had reviewed Sanga's decision, he would have been given out. The other thing is that the ball just caressed the puffy part of the glove (which he obviously didn't even feel) 'n hit the area above the wrist. That's why he was showing the area above his wrist to Rehman a few balls later. If you are really gonna question the integrity of Sanga, I can give you dozens of occasions he's walked. I think you should go 'n check who got an one-match suspension for tampering with the ball (picking the seam) in 2006 in South Africa, if you care about the spirit of cricket so much. Btw, The ICC spirit of cricket also went to a Sri Lankan last year.

  • samincolumbia on January 18, 2014, 15:35 GMT

    After losing to Zimbabwe, it would be a great achievement for Pakistan to draw the match on this road pitch!

  • Diaz54 on January 18, 2014, 15:30 GMT

    What a terrible performance by Pak batters apart from shezad. No 3 and 6 very poor. Negative, scared to bat, just don't look like international batters. Very disappointing. The wicket is flt and still can't bat on it. I feel sorry for Pak bowlers....when opposition can grind them down and the batters time and time again let them down. How I miss the batting greats of yesterday years. I cannot see any hope for pak cricket when you see these timid guys playing for the nation.

  • on January 18, 2014, 15:16 GMT

    patient lankans had discipline about batting and bowling whole series after long vacation.great to see that.. congratz sri lanka.

  • on January 18, 2014, 15:15 GMT

    @Khurram S Chaudhry .... 100% with you

  • Akhter786 on January 18, 2014, 15:15 GMT

    Stop this senseless lampooning of Misbah and Younis... They are undeed the pillars. It is high time for Shafiq to pull up his socks, he seems hell bent in wasting his sheer talent. He is going umar akmal way. And what the hell is Azhar ali doing? And come on guys this is cricket and off course Pakistan is the most inconsistent team of the cricket. Just face it. There are no real match winners , no impact players. Ahmad Shahzad is just beginning but has a long way togo and Ajmal is severely burdened by the workload he has to carry. If he is not going Pakistan seldom can win. He is the pivot of whole team, every player and every opposition player knows that. Blunt him and u catch the Pakistani team by scruff.

    Pakistan will continue to slide to the fringe of World cricket just like Kiwi and West indies if something is not done, if some capable players are not found. Gotta feel for them. World cricket is half without the flair and unpredictability they bring to it.

  • on January 18, 2014, 15:00 GMT

    Once again pakistan is in real trouble situation Batsman arent learn from there mistakes and played some silly shots which is still a prior concern for pakistan. Hopefully they manage to save the test match.

  • LoveLanka on January 18, 2014, 14:57 GMT

    PAK easily could have kept the honours end of the day but those couple of wickets made it look like SL is the happier team. now for 2moro SL's plan should be to attack the tailenders without thinking about runs. Misbah will also try to stay there for some time so attacking misbah will also help SL. atleast a 50 run lead will help SL here.

  • LoveLanka on January 18, 2014, 14:55 GMT

    Well Played Shahzad. always nice to see nice to see a ton from a youngster but onus is with them to continue the good work and i feel Shahzad is some who has the talent and application both which is a must to succeed int'l level.

  • yohandf on January 18, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    as a SL fan i am pleased that our team is in a commanding position by now . yet i m disappointed of their bowling ploy with spinners . Out side the leg stump ploy used too early as if we were trailing runs when we had a lead of 200 . SL could have attacked with conventional bowling more and perhaps picked couple more wickets . but this passive mindset will avoid us a possible win . SL should get out of that dream winning the game .

  • on January 18, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    @dmqi: how pak will follow on? are you watching same match mate?

  • on January 18, 2014, 14:40 GMT

    people, i dont think its sanga's fault. we are criticizing pak for not using reviews on 2 occasions and also sanga for not going. but it was umpires job to give it in 1st place. not batsman's job. and umpire made bad decision. its not sanga or any batsman's duty.

    and also i dont think umpire's call is a bad ddecision by the rules. it cam be termed as unlucky or lucky only. i think people are just saying it as too many went against pk while bowling.

    regarding asad, if it was clipping then its out and should be out. and it was right decision. i am off the view that it should be simple that if hitting then out. there should be no umpires call. or at least review shouldnt be lost. but asad was out to me so cant say that was unlucky or bad. it was hitting so out. as some SL fan mentioned that pak fans saying it too much: i think its because too many were umpire calls in 1 innings when SL batting so people saying it. everybody has own view on things.

  • Captain_Tuk_Tuk on January 18, 2014, 14:33 GMT

    @Hasitha Madurashan I agree with you mate we shouldn't come up with excuses. For instance look at all time great players like Bradman, Sir Jack Hobbs, Grace, Garry Sobbers there was no technology at that time no hawk eye I doubt they had even replay umpires decisions were final for them and yet they were great players. Nowadays we see players and even spectators blame umpires when they see the replay but umpires don't see things with hawk eye and slow motion. DRS is there fair enough but again excuses shouldn't be there.

  • mzm149 on January 18, 2014, 14:24 GMT

    @Ashokdmightyindian: It will be more hilarious for you when your team will lose to New Zealand.

  • VKohlitheGreat on January 18, 2014, 14:21 GMT

    @ Black_Rider : Virat Kohli did something of that sort, YES and it was not very good sign of sportmanship, but did we ever find out what must the spectator have done to provoke him to do that?? That aside, comparing the two incidents I wud still rate Kohli one as better since that did not alter the course of the match but what Sanga did was not only unsportsman like but also altered the course of the match a great deal and I am sure you will agree with me.

  • on January 18, 2014, 13:54 GMT

    Younus Khan always don't wait for umpire decision and walk away if he feels he had nicked it. This bring him in players of Lara, etc who followed the same. shame on Sangakara, though I have great respect for him for his batting, who knew he had gloved it and didn't walk away and pakistan waited long and didn't take review. Sangakara needs to show some respect and dignity to the game.

  • shot274 on January 18, 2014, 13:51 GMT

    @Naz Khan.Even if you forget the past: in this series Younis Khan has made 256 runs in 4 completed innings at an average above 60. Asad Shafiq has made a total of 60 runs. And you think Younis should be dropped?

  • mzm149 on January 18, 2014, 13:48 GMT

    Abdur Rehman can bat a bit. But less than 70 runs deficit looks improbable for Pakistan now.

  • RapidCommentsPlz on January 18, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    wow i see @mzm149 bt no @sllinga. two most hillarious!!!

  • on January 18, 2014, 13:43 GMT

    Last test match dimuth's & sanga's lbw impact were umpire's call & silva's both innings lbws were only clipping the leg stump, thus umpire's call.. but neither Lankan players, commentators nor fans didn't mourn about them.. I'm truly dissapointed by the behaviour of Pakistan counterparts in this matter... it seems to be they are watching the match only when those decisions are going against them..

  • dmqi on January 18, 2014, 13:41 GMT

    My prediction: Pak will follow on and SL will win this test. There is a small chance of a draw if Pak top 4 can play good in the 2nd innings. Younus Khan is a 2nd innings player but he plays one good innings every 10 matches now to rescue the team. Where is the Pak coach," we have the best bowling attack in the world". SL scored 400 plus runs.

  • Nuwas on January 18, 2014, 13:41 GMT

    SL is still on top, well played by PAK,showed some serious character today with the bat. I don't see a win for either of sides due the way the pitch has been behaving, day 1 was the best day to ball so far & irrespective of whatever been predicted by even so called specialists, the pitch is not breaking & is playing so good , not to mention the bolwers are having tough time out there. Too bad we couldn't have Pradeep instead of Chanidmal, yet again my point is proven. Hopefully SL could grab remaining 4 wickets in quick-time & try play for a better outcome rather than a draw.

  • rezauk on January 18, 2014, 13:37 GMT

    And that's the reason why SL will win the series - Pakistan throwing it away with poor dismissals by well set batsmen. Is there anybody out there who believes Azhar and Shafiq are Test players ? Their management of an innings is so poor , admitedly at times they have a sound defence but the team gains no benefit if you can't rotate the strike. Their mental capacity to understand situations also looks very poor and their facial expressions says it all. Yes I don't like their selection and they need to be added into the Hafeez bin. I think if SL had batted today they would have finished 4 down at that has been the difference this series. It's been an old fashioned test but SL have wanted it with admiral support from the fielders. Matthews capataincy has been outside the box as he continues his attempts to nuetralise Pakistan. Plenty can be learned from their team approach. I appreciate that we will have a new coach soon and hopefully a change of style.

  • shot274 on January 18, 2014, 13:35 GMT

    Pakistans best chance of winning is to get near 350 and concede a lead of around 75 to SL before lunch on day 4.And then if SL got bowled out for around 200 giving a final day run a minute chase it could get very close. It incidentally is also Pakistans best chance of loosing if SL are bowled out cheaply! For all those suggesting a cautious approach by Pak,need to recognise that 1-1 in a series makes a difference. 2-0 rather than 1-0 makes no difference.

  • mzm149 on January 18, 2014, 13:30 GMT

    Those criticizing Ahmed Shehzad and supporting Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz need to face reality now. Hafeez gets dropped after scoring 80 not out and Asad Shafiq after not scoring a single half century gets countless chances. Indeed ironic.

  • Black_Rider on January 18, 2014, 13:29 GMT

    @VKohlitheGreat : You know there is a another player who shows middle finger to spectators and always angry with opposition players. I think he is Virat Kohli 'Not that Great'... He should learn something from 'Tendulkar' and 'Dravid'. (Please Cricinfo publish )

  • on January 18, 2014, 13:27 GMT

    and there they go. one after the other. our openers should never bat sensibly so the middle and late middle order take responsibility :D shafiq sarfaraz gone. well played shehzad. if pak has 11 reviews. 1 for each player, they will still manage to waste all of them

  • on January 18, 2014, 13:26 GMT

    well played by both teams. well bowled by SL. they kept things tight.

    score is good for pak. scored around 3.9 in last session. but i think they lost 2 extra wickets which will hurt them. this team there is no bhatti and tail starts now. and new ball will be taken early in morning.

    some poor shots. 2 leg side glances and 1 reverse sweep. azhar looked out of practice. asad is going no where. sarfraz also got out in the end and these late wickets gave SL a good opening. SL will get huge lead.

    some of pak batsmen could have avoided it. disappointed performance.

    ahmed played well for his 100 but fell at wrong time. chances for pak win are now even slim . if there were any in the 1st place.

    137 runs still behind and will be hard to score these. Draw or SL to me.

  • on January 18, 2014, 13:23 GMT

    I can see Sri Lanka winning this match by an innings.

  • VKohlitheGreat on January 18, 2014, 13:22 GMT

    @ Naz Khan : R u pointing fingers at that Younis Khan who is the highest scorer for Pakistan and almost the second highest in this series. I really dont know what Pakistani fans expect out of their players. I maybe wrong but him and Misbah are two players who, if given a chance, might walk into the Indian test team as well with the batting might that they have.

  • on January 18, 2014, 13:13 GMT

    hard luck to Asad shafiq . same type of appeals turn down by umpires in ist inning. umpires must he consistent on this level.

  • Akhter786 on January 18, 2014, 13:09 GMT

    Luck has really abandoned pakistan this series.. Look they got more than dozen os such LBWs against them and now one more is added to the tally...

    Shafiq should consider himself unlucky when compared with his lankan counterparts

  • mzm149 on January 18, 2014, 13:07 GMT

    How long are they going to persist with Asad Shafiq? I think they should start selecting 10 players because 11th one is a must.

  • on January 18, 2014, 13:05 GMT

    No result of this match in sharjah

  • mzm149 on January 18, 2014, 13:03 GMT

    Herath doesn't believe that he can dismiss Pakistani batsmen. That is why he is bowling every ball outside keg stump to contain runs. Very negative tactics from him.

  • DD_f0rever on January 18, 2014, 12:45 GMT

    PAK bowlers could not get SL batsmen all-out even after bowling for 2 days.

    Now the batsmen will have to do the job to save the match !

  • on January 18, 2014, 12:45 GMT

    WeLLdoNe Shahzad!!!!! You played a magnificent innings.......

  • on January 18, 2014, 12:38 GMT

    losing wickets regularly and when it looks like its going good, some 1 falls. and some soft dismissals . leg side catches and a reverse sweep. why would you need that shot when you can hit them straight and been doing for almost whole of the day. Ahmed fell at wrong time when new ball is due.

  • on January 18, 2014, 12:34 GMT

    Well set Shezad also gone. One wicket more and then long tail of 5. A lead of 100 runs will be sufficient for Sri Lankans to dictate terms and to win Seri 2-0 Aman Ullah Khan/Brooklyn, NY /USA

  • on January 18, 2014, 12:32 GMT

    Strange shot from Ahmad Shahzad. He should have go for 200 on dead wicket but he could not manage it. Congrats him on maiden test hundred. Last chance for Asad Shafiq to score big hundred in this test series. Inside news from PCB. Basit Ali is going to be a batting coach and muhammad Ilyas as a chief selector for national team. We ll see Imran farhat again in team.

  • VKohlitheGreat on January 18, 2014, 12:31 GMT

    There we have the players like Younis Khan who walk if they have nicked it and dont wait for or look at the umpire. #Respect. Hope players like Sangakkara learn something from this and for the gentleman's game that this is called, play it that way!

  • on January 18, 2014, 12:29 GMT

    the most boring format of any game test cricket at its worst. dull, slow and boring as always on these dead wickets.

  • on January 18, 2014, 11:55 GMT

    Dont understand why people talking about Pak's low runrate. If you see pile of runs ahead and understand that if Pak get out by giving Srilanka lead of around 100 odd runs match could skip away from them so easily. 1-0 will become 2-0.

  • on January 18, 2014, 11:44 GMT

    Azhar Ali and Younis Khan have lost wickets when they need not and has not come to the rescue of Team. Hard luck for Pakistan that whenever you need contribution such players show their backs. Still a lot of work has to be done to save the match and loose the Seri 1-0. No chance to win here under the circumstances. Rate of scoring is too poor to built a tangible lead and dictate terms. Wish them good luck only. Aman Ullah Khan/ Brooklyn/ NY USA

  • on January 18, 2014, 11:41 GMT

    Khurram S these goes your key, Younis lol! he is avg now and way past his best, this guy with all his experience could not even score on this lifeless pitch, we really need to drop him and move forward.

    we need players who can score big hundreds, younis has lost that ability now, even when he gets in, he loses concentration and gets out after 50 plus score, like last game where he got 77 odd.

    Misbah should be the only senior in the side, for god sake bring in sami aslam, shoaib maqsood, fawad alam, these youngsters will bring lot of fight and energy in the field, and surely they can't do worse than these old and greedy players who don't have decency to relalise there game is not good enough and retire.

    Azhar Ali just seems so nervous now playing in fear of being dropped, he was so good in England, so this guy can surely bat, but just can't seem to get start now, sad another player we invested 2-3 years in mite not be future for next 10 years..

  • on January 18, 2014, 11:35 GMT

    its funny that team is still 240 behind and losing wickets and people talking about run rates. its not an easy wicket to bat on. pak still in danger of getting out and can hand out SL a big lead. pak win chances were very slim even at the start of innings when SL batted well for 2 days.

  • mzm149 on January 18, 2014, 11:34 GMT

    Well done Ahmed Shehzad. You have shut your critics up. Way to go.

  • on January 18, 2014, 11:32 GMT

    Shehzad Good batting today 100 up For Pakistan on Top but Younis Khan is Goes ♥

  • yorkslanka on January 18, 2014, 11:29 GMT

    big wicket for us, good for us to get rid of the dangerous Younis who is a a fantastic player in my book..Well batted to Shehzad on scoring his maiden ton..encouraging for Pakistan and their future...

  • Mervo on January 18, 2014, 11:25 GMT

    Pakistan will lose this series because they show no initiative. Tests are 5 days not 10. A draw is a lost series in reality. The wicket had no demons, go for it! Time is your enemy

  • last_over on January 18, 2014, 10:46 GMT

    Pak is playing for a draw, they have lost the series.

  • mzm149 on January 18, 2014, 10:35 GMT

    Khurram Manzoor and Azhar Ali need yo be banned for a few games for wasting the reviews so blatantly.

  • on January 18, 2014, 10:23 GMT

    Azhar failed. but i didnt understand why he went for the review? wasted review.

    Younas and Ahmed will be key. Ahmed has picked up pace after 50. and younas can also score fluently.

  • on January 18, 2014, 10:22 GMT

    Ahmed Shehzad should continue to bat positively. Azhar is woefully out of form, and Asad Shafiq gets to bat with Misbah, and has to bat slowly to appease the captain. Pakistan needs to step it up a notch, without taking undue risks, if they want to force a result; otherwise this match looks set for a tame draw, and a series loss for Pakistan. We could have batted a little positively in the first match, and should have won. No use crying over spilt milk, though.

  • on January 18, 2014, 10:18 GMT

    So, Azhar Ali shuts the mouths of his own anti-critics :(. Now I wish to see again Shan Masood in up coming matches.

  • shot274 on January 18, 2014, 10:12 GMT

    @Ashwin Pandey. At the rate they are going(60 odd runs a session) to get a lead of 200 Pakistan will get there by lunch on the 6th day!!!!

  • Captain_Tuk_Tuk on January 18, 2014, 10:07 GMT

    Again -ve tactics by Misbah and co. They are also playing for draw, if they loose series 1-0 or 2-0 they'll loose it either way. SL are 1 up in the series they don't need to take the risks but Pakistan need to play +vely but I doubt thats the strategy of the captain, they'll play for draw and loose 1-0 instead of risking 2-0 to look to square the series.

  • on January 18, 2014, 10:07 GMT

    there is no way pakistan can win. what openers did and what other players should do now is create understanding between each other and try to make these innings count. try to stay not out and make most of it. I would like shehzad nd azhar to go for double rather than a follow on nd pakistan put into bat again. SL were 165/5 bcz they played a bit quick earlier but as they started playing slow they managed runs and big slow stands.

  • shot274 on January 18, 2014, 10:03 GMT

    Pakistan scored less in a session than Faulkner did in 44 balls yesterday. yes different format, different pitch but lets not moan about Test cricket dying. Its painful watching this match!

  • on January 18, 2014, 9:54 GMT

    srilanka need break early wickets and put more presure on pak in 5 th day but misbah and younus are good form herath in hand bothn 2 wickets srilanka take the seris 2.0 move the ranging 5th pak 6th

  • on January 18, 2014, 9:48 GMT

    Wow look at the run rate? Is Pakistan playing for a draw? Or just being very helpful to SL cause? Thks Pakistan!

  • Pindia on January 18, 2014, 9:34 GMT

    Ok then over to Azhar- he needs to show quality, resolve and a bit of tempo...

  • Manjula2014 on January 18, 2014, 9:30 GMT

    why Dilruwan Perera is not in....because he scored 95...something.... anyway to drop him..?

  • on January 18, 2014, 9:26 GMT

    pakistan openers are playin for draw thats for sure so even if they manage to make 200 partnership . They shud be blamed for not going to force result by playing fast . Misbah has set such a defensive mindset that now we can rarely see wins in tests from pakistan . After this tame draw or pakistan loss misbah shud be sacked immediately as a captain and younis reinstated . Sami aslam should be brought into 11 and asad shaifiq should be given last chance to bat positively or just go to first class . Test players with 50 plus average in first class fawad alam and haris sohail and aggressive player like sohaib maqsud should be given chance in test matches . Bowling will be better when aamir irfan and gul comes into attack with ajmal rehman and zulfiqaar.

  • Pindia on January 18, 2014, 9:16 GMT

    Don't agree that it's too slow. For this match and indeed the future of Pak cricket we need to show resolve, fight and technique rather than 99 all out! They need to work to a small but significant lead by the end of day 4 and see what Ajmal can do on day 5. Credit to Khurrum and Shehzad. Also these two are probably the only two in the side who can score quickly if it comes to it. Let them put on at least another fifty runs at this pace then force it towards the end of the day with the old ball...

  • M.AHMAD82 on January 18, 2014, 8:51 GMT

    I think are doing the right think by not giving away any wicket. They clearly understand that if they have to win this match then they have to make a big first inning score and should not bat again and put srilanka in a condition to defend the match on 5th day...

  • AshwinPandey on January 18, 2014, 8:50 GMT

    If Pakistan have to win the match, they should bat for the whole day and minimum till tea tomorrow with atleast a lead of 200, then they can think of a win or a draw

  • on January 18, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    Working hard to help SL to draw the match and for them to win the series.Both openers playing for their place and same applies to our other batsmen so no chance for a positive cricket .SL must realized Paks defensive strategy and must go for the kill.well I think SL will get a healthy lead of more than 120 and possibly yet another well deserved victory for SL.

  • on January 18, 2014, 8:38 GMT

    Is there anyone watching? I can't wait to see some lively comments here. Beats watching the match.

  • on January 18, 2014, 8:33 GMT

    Ahmad Shahzad Tuk Tuk

  • on January 18, 2014, 8:33 GMT

    nothing surprising here. SL batted for 2 days and considering the wicket, run scoring will be harder by every hour. and it will take some time if pak dont collapse. have to give credit to SL. they made sure, they dont give any initiative to pak and batted time out. pak were unlucky while bowling but on these type of wickets, its always difficult to level the series.

    any way, both are solid and if they stay together more then we may see some improvements in scoring. not to forget, A zhar ali is next and he can also dig deep and he is coming after a gap so will take time. i am still of the view its draw or Sl.

  • on January 18, 2014, 8:33 GMT

    Pakistan's Top three slots are precarious as the trio of Batsman at the said top slots are playing to cement their positions thus it would be highly expected that Pakistan would go at snail's pace now onwards and eventually Draw is looming large at closure of this game! Pakistan need to speed up a bit obviously with much restraint for the pitch is two paced and now the ball is fairly old therefore reverse swing will be more on show!!! best of luck for Pakistan!!!

  • on January 18, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    Sri Lanka has shown how to perform with good management more than performance! Only one bad performance as a team is going to cost Pakistan entire series topped with excellent thought process by Sri Lankans! The Sri Lankans knew they only had to block one or two Pakistani bowlers in the entire series because all bowlers except Ajmal and now Abdul Rehman leak runs. In the final test Sri Lankans only had to waste time, and that's what they are doing. Made runs slowly and not mind giving runs slowly!

  • Mervo on January 18, 2014, 8:30 GMT

    Really Pakistan are one down and they should show some initiative and try to win the match. This is boring rubbish. Misbah is not a strong captain.

  • mzm149 on January 18, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    No matter how fast they play now, they can't gather more than 200 more runs today. Still Pakistan will be trailing by 143 runs. To get a lead of 50 they will again have to play 2 sessions of 100 runs each tomorrow. The only way Pakistan can win is to defeat Sri Lanka by an inning. For that to happen they should play whole day tomorrow and part of 5th day to give Sri Lanka target of 200 runs in 2.5 sessions and bowl them out. Tough but not impossible.

  • on January 18, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    Yes In Test Match, Poor Deliveries Should Be BANG but Pakistan is not in Position to take Any Risk. So If You Ask Me Then Pakistan is Doing Really Well. If Pakistan Does Not Lose Their 1st Wicket Before 100 Then Pakistan Will Be On Top Of The List. Because After A Good Top Order Performance, The Middle Order Will Be Supported And They Will Make Runs. So Pakistan, Keep On Doing What You Are Doing Now. Save Your Wickets And Make A Huge Lead Over Srilanka.

  • on January 18, 2014, 8:13 GMT

    pakistani vs srilanka 180 million pakistani people vs 20 million srilankan people who is your choice. sl or pak

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  • on January 18, 2014, 8:13 GMT

    pakistani vs srilanka 180 million pakistani people vs 20 million srilankan people who is your choice. sl or pak

  • on January 18, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    Yes In Test Match, Poor Deliveries Should Be BANG but Pakistan is not in Position to take Any Risk. So If You Ask Me Then Pakistan is Doing Really Well. If Pakistan Does Not Lose Their 1st Wicket Before 100 Then Pakistan Will Be On Top Of The List. Because After A Good Top Order Performance, The Middle Order Will Be Supported And They Will Make Runs. So Pakistan, Keep On Doing What You Are Doing Now. Save Your Wickets And Make A Huge Lead Over Srilanka.

  • mzm149 on January 18, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    No matter how fast they play now, they can't gather more than 200 more runs today. Still Pakistan will be trailing by 143 runs. To get a lead of 50 they will again have to play 2 sessions of 100 runs each tomorrow. The only way Pakistan can win is to defeat Sri Lanka by an inning. For that to happen they should play whole day tomorrow and part of 5th day to give Sri Lanka target of 200 runs in 2.5 sessions and bowl them out. Tough but not impossible.

  • Mervo on January 18, 2014, 8:30 GMT

    Really Pakistan are one down and they should show some initiative and try to win the match. This is boring rubbish. Misbah is not a strong captain.

  • on January 18, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    Sri Lanka has shown how to perform with good management more than performance! Only one bad performance as a team is going to cost Pakistan entire series topped with excellent thought process by Sri Lankans! The Sri Lankans knew they only had to block one or two Pakistani bowlers in the entire series because all bowlers except Ajmal and now Abdul Rehman leak runs. In the final test Sri Lankans only had to waste time, and that's what they are doing. Made runs slowly and not mind giving runs slowly!

  • on January 18, 2014, 8:33 GMT

    Pakistan's Top three slots are precarious as the trio of Batsman at the said top slots are playing to cement their positions thus it would be highly expected that Pakistan would go at snail's pace now onwards and eventually Draw is looming large at closure of this game! Pakistan need to speed up a bit obviously with much restraint for the pitch is two paced and now the ball is fairly old therefore reverse swing will be more on show!!! best of luck for Pakistan!!!

  • on January 18, 2014, 8:33 GMT

    nothing surprising here. SL batted for 2 days and considering the wicket, run scoring will be harder by every hour. and it will take some time if pak dont collapse. have to give credit to SL. they made sure, they dont give any initiative to pak and batted time out. pak were unlucky while bowling but on these type of wickets, its always difficult to level the series.

    any way, both are solid and if they stay together more then we may see some improvements in scoring. not to forget, A zhar ali is next and he can also dig deep and he is coming after a gap so will take time. i am still of the view its draw or Sl.

  • on January 18, 2014, 8:33 GMT

    Ahmad Shahzad Tuk Tuk

  • on January 18, 2014, 8:38 GMT

    Is there anyone watching? I can't wait to see some lively comments here. Beats watching the match.

  • on January 18, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    Working hard to help SL to draw the match and for them to win the series.Both openers playing for their place and same applies to our other batsmen so no chance for a positive cricket .SL must realized Paks defensive strategy and must go for the kill.well I think SL will get a healthy lead of more than 120 and possibly yet another well deserved victory for SL.