Azhar: Chasing 300 is possible on this track
Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali says his team can chase a total of 300 in the final innings as they go in search of series-levelling victory in the second and final Test against Sri Lanka in Dubai.
At stumps on day three Pakistan reduced Sri Lanka to 34/5 but the visitors still enjoy a lead of 254 with five wickets remaining in their second innings.
Pakistan were bowled out for just 262 in their first innings in reply to Sri Lanka’s score of 482 but the home team fought back late in the final session to give themselves hope of a favourable result.
Azhar told reporters after Sunday’s play: “We were left with 15 overs to have a crack at them and we thought it was a good opportunity. They had got a big lead but then third innings is important.
“It has given us a bit of hope. We thought that we will be left with a big target to chase, but this (final) session has given us a little bit of hope.
“Hopefully we will have a good session tomorrow and bowl them out cheaply. Chasing 300 is possible on this track.”
Azhar top-scored for his team in the first innings with 59 but was disappointed that he and a few other batsmen did not capitalise on good starts.
However, the 32-year-old Azhar is still positive they can turn their fortunes around.
Azhar continued: “These kind of wickets that you get here, you need to make it big. It’s a slow wicket and hard to get a start, but once you get settled it becomes easy. It’s disappointing that even in the first game, lot of us – including me – had got starts and couldn’t kick on.
“But we are still positive. The guys are playing well. Everyone wants to make it big. It has not happened yet but we have one innings left and hopefully someone will make it big. You never know in this game.”
Pakistan are one-nil down in the two-match series after losing the first Test in Abu Dhabi by 21 runs.
Racism in cricket: ECB warned further action can be taken if problem is not dealt with
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee had issued a report calling on the ECB to “clean up its act” on racism.
Ray Illingworth funeral: Dickie Bird pays tribute to ‘outstanding man’
Illingworth, who won 61 caps for England, was one of the country’s most successful captains.
Women’s Ashes Test: Beth Mooney set for remarkable return despite liquid diet
The Australia opener has had surgery on a broken jaw.
South Africa: Former Essex stalwart Simon Harmer earns recall for tour to NZ
Simon Harmer returns after seven-year absence and Kolpak stint.
ICC Rankings: South Africa stars on the charge in latest update
Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen enjoyed a great series against India.
Women’s Ashes: England are ‘pumped’ ahead of only Test – Heather Knight
England go into the clash in Canberra looking to become the first England team to win a Test match Down Under this winter.
Yorkshire could learn next week if international hosting rights will be restored
Lucrative games were stripped from the county by the ECB.
T20 Cricket: England’s death bowling must improve, admits Paul Collingwood
West Indies came within two runs of pulling off a remarkable chase in Sunday’s second T20.
Cricket must address racism: Former England international Roland Butcher fed up
Butcher, who played three Tests and three one-day internationals for England in the early 1980s, is “not interested” in just words any more.
Racism in cricket: Azeem Rafiq staggered despite Middlesex chair’s apology for comments
Mike O’Farrell appeared to make generalisations at a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee hearing.