Misbah, Malik boost Pakistan's lead in final Test
by AFP

Ground:Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo
Scorecard:Sri Lanka v Pakistan
Player:Misbah-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal
Event:Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2009

DateLine: 22nd July 2009


Misbah-ul Haq and Shoaib Malik put on an unbroken 101-run partnership as Pakistan built a lead of 234 runs over Sri Lanka in the third cricket Test on Wednesday.


The tourists appeared to have thrown away the advantage of a 66-run first innings lead when, starting the third day at 16-1 in their second knock, they lost three quick wickets to slip to 67-4 before lunch.


Misbah and Malik, however, defied the Sri Lankan bowlers for the entire post-lunch session to lift Pakistan to 168-4 by tea at the Sinhalese sports club here.


Misbah was unbeaten at the break on 56, his third half-century in 15 Tests, including five fours and a six.


Former captain Malik was batting on 46.


The hosts, aiming for a 3-0 sweep of the series after winning the first two Tests, missed a second spinner alongside Rangana Herath on a wicket still good for batting despite affording turn and bounce.


Sri Lanka had dropped spinner Ajantha Mendis to accommodate veteran seamer Chaminda Vaas for his final Test in a four-man pace attack.


Pakistan had added just six runs to their overnight score when Fawad Alam fended at a short ball from left-arm seamer Thilan Thushara and spooned an easy catch to the bowler.


Left-handed Alam, who hit 168 on debut in the second Test, scored 16 in each innings here.


Younus Khan looked solid while making 19 when he was unfortunate to be given leg-before to Nuwan Kulaksekera by umpire Ian Gould. Television replays showed an inside edge off the bat.


Younus walked back dejected as Pakistan slipped to 54-3, just 120 runs ahead.


Veteran Mohammad Yousuf was on 23 when he poked at a good length delivery from left-arm spinner Herath and edged a catch to wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara.


The Sri Lankan captain, who keeps wickets in limited-over internationals but is reluctant to do the job in Tests, was forced to don the gloves after Tillakaratne Dilshan was laid low with injuries.


Dilshan broke a finger in his right hand while keeping wicket on the first day, and then suffered a bloody cut over the left eyebrow while batting on Tuesday.


He is likely to miss the five one-day matches against Pakistan starting on July 30.

(Article: Copyright © 2009 AFP)


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