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Pakistan vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test at Abu Dhabi, Day 3
03 October 2017, 01:59 | Rodolfo Wallace
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Niroshan Dickwella fought hard during his unbeaten knock of 40 studded with four boundaries.
There was a moment in the final moments of the game when it looked like Sri Lanka had pulled it off when Yasir Shah nicked it to short leg off Dilruwan Perera and Sri Lanka erupted in celebrations.
Yasir was the pick of the bowlers with five wickets, while Abbas snapped up two and Hasan Ali, Asad Shafiq and debutant Haris Sohail chipped in with one wicket apiece. Then came the stand that, perhaps, changed the course of this Test: 50 runs added for Pakistan's ninth wicket gave this Test the direction that over 750 runs scored in the match previously couldn't give.
Leggie claimed five wickets as Islanders were bowled out for 138, leaving Pakistan 136 to go 1-0 up in two-Test series.
Chasing 136 to win, Herath, Dilruwan Perera and Lakmal worked in tandem to blow away Pakistan's top order and leave them in dire straits at 36/5.
Azhar Ali once more rescued Pakistan's batting with a fighting half century on the third day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. In five Tests since then (and one potential bowling innings still to go in the fifth) he has taken 30 wickets at an average of 21.96.
The 39-year-old orthodox spinner snared 6-41 in the second innings - giving him 11 for the match - as Sri Lanka defended its meager 135-run advantage on a dramatic day when 16 wickets tumbled in three sessions.
Azhar then shared a 71-run partnership with Babar Azam (28).
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Chandimal's epic, first-innings 155 played a major part in the 21-run win over Pakistan, as did his marshaling of his attack and team on a tense final afternoon.
With six wickets in the tank, Sri Lanka will try to push the lead past 150.
Leg-spinner Yasir Shah posted 3-120 and fast bowler Mohammad Abbas fetched 3-75.
By stumps, Pakistan was a chanceless 64 without loss, Sami Aslam on 31 and Shan Masood on 30 to make honors even.
Pakistan are 5/4 with Sky Bet for victory, Sri Lanka can be backed at 4/1 and the draw is on offer at 6/5. Niroshan Dickwella remained defiant, however, and when Pakistan's batsmen then hit nearly immediate trouble it became clear the Sri Lanka wicketkeeper's unbeaten 40 could well be significant.
He is the second Sri Lankan to take 400 or more wickets behind Muttiah Muralitharan who is the highest wicket taker in all Test cricket with 800. Wasim Akram, Pakistan left-arm pacer, has 414 wickets from 104 Tests. New Pakistan Test captain Sarfraz Ahmed completed the run-out. Pakistan had luck on their side with the reviews as both Ali and Shafiq survived confident appeals. The veteran responded, "I have no idea".
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