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Pakistan holds on for draw vs. Sri Lanka

Pakistan holds on for draw vs. Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka failed in its bid for a series-leveling victory in the third and final cricket test against Pakistan Monday, frustrated by a lengthy rain delay and the resistance of the hosts at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Pakistan, set an improbable 255 to win in a minimum of 61 overs, ended on 87-4 to secure a draw and wrap up a 1-0 series victory.
"I'm very happy we gave it our best shot to win this test," Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan said. "After losing the second test, the way my boys came and fought hard to win this match and try draw the series was good. But the wicket was really good for the batsmen."
Sri Lanka, resuming on its overnight total of 164-5, was stalled by morning drizzle that wiped out the entire first session.
Once play finally got under way 35 minutes after lunch, the visitors pushed their score to 181-6 before declaring.
"It's a little bit disappointing that the rain didn't allow us to play the first session. If we played a full day, it might be a different result, with the extra overs," Dilshan added.
Opener Tharanga Paranavitana ended unbeaten on 76, a knock that included five fours and a six off 168 deliveries.
Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal claimed 3-50, including the wicket of Kosala Kulasekara (7), while pacer Umar Gul took 2-44.
Kulasekara was bowled off the under-edge trying to force through the off side.
Sri Lanka added just 17 runs in 4.2 overs before Dilshan declared the innings.
Pakistan wobbled early as it tried to preserve its 1-0 series lead.
Substitute Lahiru Thirimanne inspired the breakthrough, his direct hit from mid-on removing Mohammad Hafeez for 13 at 20-1.
Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath added the wicket of Azhar Ali before seamer Chanaka Welegedara quickly claimed first innings centurion Younus Khan.
Azhar (7) was out lbw playing inside the line of a turning delivery, while Younus (11) chipped an on-drive to mid-on.
Opener Taufeeq Umar and captain Misbah-ul-Haq took Pakistan to tea on 61-3 and further dulled Sri Lanka after the break.
"Winning a series is a good thing for us. We just have a lot of positives from this test series," Misbah said. "It was a team effort. Everybody performed. You can say somebody failed here. I think ever individual contributed and I think that's a good sign for the team."
Taufeeq compiled 39 of 121 balls before Suraj Randiv struck to give Sri Lanka a late opportunity.
Taufeeq, who hit four fours, struck a delivery straight to backward point.
Randiv was confident he had a fifth wicket on a thin edge from Asad Shafiq to the wicketkeeper.
But umpire Simon Taufel ruled not out and Misbah and Shafiq continued to stonewall the Sri Lanka attack in a partnership of 10 that spanned 95 balls.
Misbah ended on 9 not out off 86 deliveries while Shafiq made 7 off 55 balls.
Herath (1-19), Welegedara (1-19) and Randiv (1-21) produced the breakthroughs for Sri Lanka.
The two teams begin a five-match one-day series in Dubai on Friday.


Updated : 2021-06-13 02:01 GMT+08:00