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Sri Lanka 144-4, ahead by 27, on last day vs. Pakistan

Sri Lanka 144-4 in 2nd innings, ahead by 27, at lunch on final day vs. Pakistan

Sri Lanka 144-4, ahead by 27, on last day vs. Pakistan

GALLE, Sri Lanka (AP) -- Sri Lanka reached 144-4 in its second innings at lunch on the final day of the first test against Pakistan, and with two sessions to play Sunday the hosts still have work to do to avoid defeat.

After resuming from the overnight score of 63-2, Sri Lankans wiped out the 117-run first-innings deficit but the slow progress in the session -- scoring at less than three an over -- showed that avoiding defeat was the priority rather than trying to manufacture a win.

Sri Lanka lost two wickets in the morning session, but opener Dimuth Karunaratne looked solid with an unbeaten 63 off 146 deliveries with seven fours.

Sri Lanka lost night-watchman Dilruwan Perera to the first ball of the day when he shouldered arms to a delivery from leg-spinner Yasir Shah, expecting the ball to spin away, but it held its line and hit the stumps.

Vice-captain Lahiru Thirimanne joined Karunaratne with Sri Lanka under some pressure, and the pair batted for seven minutes short of two hours to frustrate the Pakistan attack.

With nothing going his way and badly needing a wicket, Misbah-ul-Haq called up Wahab Riaz, his most experienced bowler and the left-arm fast bowler struck in the first ball of the fresh spell by surprising Thirimanne with extra bounce and the thick edge was snapped up by Younis Khan at first slip.

Pakistan got that breakthrough with just 20 minutes left for lunch and attacked with some aggressive field placings searching for another wicket.

But Mathews and Karunaratne negotiated the period without further loss of wickets.

Fast bowlers are enjoying reverse swing with the older ball in Galle while the extra bounce on the pitch has kept the spinners interested.

Pakistan posted 417 all out in reply to Sri Lanka's 300 all out in the first innings having elected to field first after winning the toss.

The entire first day's play on Wednesday was washed out by rain.

Updated : 2021-09-18 10:09 GMT+08:00