ABU DHABI: Azhar Ali yet again protected Pakistan’s batting with a battling 50 years on the third day of the principal Test against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
The one-drop batsman was unbeaten on 74 yet observed Babar Azam succumbed to 28 in the last finished of the day as Pakistan completed on 266-4 on a Sheik Zayed Stadium pitch which has begun to help spinners.
Pakistan still trail the Sri Lankan first innings aggregate of 419 by 153 keeps running with six wickets in place.
Pakistan had stuck their expectations on Azhar in the post Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq period who resigned in May this year in the wake of boring group’s batting for almost seven years.
A careful Azhar ensured Pakistan don’t yield a major lead in the main innings, having hit just a single limit in his 26th Test 50 years.
Azhar stand defiant Pakistan made slow progress
In all Azhar has so far hit three limits amid his 297 minutes of batting. He included 79 for the third wicket with Asad Shafiq who made 39 to take the battle to Sri Lankan three-pronged turn assault.
Veteran left-arm spinner Herath was the best bowler with 2-47.
At the point when on 32, Azhar additionally finished 5,000 Test keeps running in his 61st Test. He turned into the eighth Pakistan batsmen behind Younis Khan (10,099), Javed Miandad (8832) Inzamam-ul-Haq (8829), Mohammad Yousuf (7530), Salim Malik (5768), Misbah (5222) and Zaheer Abbas (5062) to achieve the point of reference.
In any case, it was the opening pair of Shan Masood and Sami Aslam who set the stage for a major aggregate by assembling a strong 114-pursue opening stand they continued at 64 without misfortune.
Sri Lanka, be that as it may, hit back by evacuating the two openers in the space of two runs.
Sami, reviewed in the wake of being dropped from the West Indies visit on disciplinary grounds not long ago, was caught leg-before by off-break bowler Dilruwan Perera. He hit four limits in his seventh Test 50 years.
Two runs later Shan endeavored a scope shot off the wily Herath however missed the ball and was knocked down some pins round his legs.
Pakistan had fortunes on their agree with the audits as both Azhar and Asad survived certain interests. Azhar astutely assessed a leg-before choice off Perera, however the ball hit his bat before the cushion.
Asad was given not out on a survey when he was puzzled off Herath on one.
It was Herath who at long last unstuck Asad when a sharp turner got an edge off the minor right-hander’s bat, avoided from wicket-manager Niroshan Dickwella’s thigh to slip where Lahiru Thirimanne took the catch.
SRI LANKA (first Innings) 419 (L.D. Chandimal 155 not out, F.D.M. Karunaratne 93, N. Dickwella 83; Mohammad Abbas 3-75, Yasir Shah 3-120).
PAKISTAN (first Innings, overnight 64-0):
Shan Masood b Herath 59
Sami Aslam lbw b Perera 51
Azhar Ali not out 74
Asad Shafiq c Thirimanne b Herath 39
Babar Azam c Dickwella b Pradeep 28
Additional items (B-4, LB-9, NB-2) 15
Add up to (for four wkts, 112.4 overs) 266
FALL OF WKTS: 1-114, 2-116, 3-195, 4-266.
TO BAT: Haris Sohail, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Amir, Yasir Shah, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Abbas.
Knocking down some pins (to-date): Lakmal 15-3-30-0 (1nb); Pradeep 16.4-1-44-1; Perera 27-7-58-1; Sandakan 26-6-68-0; Herath 25-6-47-2; Karunaratne 3-1-6-0.