Sri Lanka hold slender lead in Abu Dhabi

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Sri Lanka reached stumps on day three of the first Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi holding a lead of seven runs, reaching 186 for four thanks to half centuries from Kaushal Silva and Kumar Sangakkara.

Sri Lanka reached stumps on day three of the first Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi holding a lead of seven runs, reaching 186 for four thanks to half centuries from Kaushal Silva and Kumar Sangakkara.

Home skipper Misbah-ul-Haq's 135 was the highlight of the morning, though he'd already made his ton the evening before, as Rangana Herath and Shaminda Eranga wrapped up the Pakistan tail for 383 all out.

Sri Lanka then responded well to the chase of 179 with two solid yet snail-like partnerships, before a wicket flurry in the evening session put the match on an even keel with two days to go.

Pakistan began the day on 327 for four, with Misbah on 105 and Asad Shafiq on 13. The latter was only able to add one run before being sent packing by Suranga Lakmal, while Adnan Akmal was out for six to Eranga.

This left Misbah to bat with the tail, adding as many runs as he could. Herath made sure he ran out of partners though, bagging Saeed Ajmal and Rahat Ali for ducks. Bilawal Bhatti added 14 before Angelo Mathews had him caught behind.

After Misbah was caught by wicketkeeper Sangakkara off Herath, thus ending the innings, Sri Lanka batted for one over before the lunch break and made two runs.

The afternoon session saw 69 runs scored and one wicket lost as Dimuth Karunaratne fell for 24 to Junaid Khan. This left Silva and Sangakkara to see out the session slowly, reaching 71 for one at tea.

Silva brought up his half century off 113 balls in the evening, with Sangakkara close behind him with a half ton off 93 balls, as they reduced the deficit with increasing speed as the ball aged.

The partnership came to a shuddering halt on 99 with Sanga on 55 though, as Bhatti removed him and then Mahela Jayawardene for a duck with his next delivery. This put Sri Lanka on 150 for three.

Silva continued as slowly as the over rate, but made his way to 81 before becoming the final action of the day. He was caught behind by Adnan Akmal for 81 off Junaid, ensuring a disappointing end to the day for the visitors.

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