Pakistan vs Sri Lanka: Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed raise hosts’ hopes of victory on final day despite early collaps

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Dubai: Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed hit battling half-hundreds of years on Monday to foil Sri Lanka and set up an exciting completion to the second and last day-night Test in Dubai.

Shafiq scored an unbeaten 86 while captain Ahmed was 57 not out as they lifted Pakistan from a hazardous position at 52-5 to 198-5 at close in the wake of being set an overwhelming focus of 317.The sets included 146 for the unbroken 6th wicket remain to leave Pakistan requiring another 119 keeps running with five wickets close by to level the arrangement.

Sri Lanka won a nail-gnawing first Test in Abu Dhabi by 21 runs.

Both Shafiq and Ahmed batted certainly to raise any expectations of Pakistan keeping up their unbeaten record in nine Test arrangement in the United Arab Emirates, their embraced home since 2009.

Pakistan have been compelled to play at a nonpartisan scene since a 2009 dread assault on the Sri Lankan group incited experts to suspend global cricket in the nation.

Prior, paceman Wahab Riaz snatched four for 41 and left-arm spinner Haris Sohail took three wickets in a solitary over to reject Sri Lanka for 96 in their second innings, after they continued on 34-5.

Shafiq raised his nineteenth Test fifty with a very much coordinated cover drive off quick bowler Suranga Lakmal, his initial 50 or more score in 12 innings.

Ahmed crushed part-clock Kusal Mendis for his fourth limit to finish his fourteenth Test 50 years.

It was off-spinner Dilruwan Perera who tore separated Pakistan with a triple strike in the second session. He rejected Haris Sohail (10), Shan Masood (21) and Babar Azam (nothing) to leave Pakistan destroyed at 52-5.

He could have guaranteed the wickets of both Shafiq, on 26, and Ahmed, on 22, however both were dropped by Mendis at short leg off progressive balls, leaving Sri Lanka to lament the missed shots.

Pakistan made an awful begin when opener Sami Aslam succumbed to one, got in the slips off Lahiru Gamage.

Masood and Azhar Ali (17) included 31 for the second wicket before the batting breakdown started with Ali got off quick bowler Nuwan Pradeep for 17.

Pakistan had expected to make early advances in the morning and Riaz gave them the critical wicket of Niroshan Dickwella in the fifth over of the day for 21.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah expelled Perera for nothing to leave Sri Lanka in risk of being full scale for their most reduced ever aggregate of 71 against Pakistan.

Yet, Mendis (29) and Rangana Herath (17) included 35 for the eighth wicket to disappoint Pakistan before Sohail struck thrice in his exclusive over Read more story.