Usual suspects prop up Pakistan

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Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq arrested the slide for Pakistan on day three of the second Test against Sri Lanka and reached 132 for the loss of three at stumps, but with a 91-run deficit still to overcome, the home side remain up against it in Dubai.

<b>Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq arrested the slide for Pakistan on day three of the second Test against Sri Lanka and reached 132 for the loss of three at stumps, but with a 91-run deficit still to overcome, the home side remain up against it in Dubai.</b>

The two experienced campaigners added 119 untroubled runs for the fourth wicket and batted through the final session and was largely untroubled by the Sri Lankan bowlers that seemed unplayable before the pair strode to the wicket with the score on 13/3.

At stumps, Younis had reached 62 while Misbah was 52, although both players will be aware that their jobs have only been completed fractionally if Pakistan are to get anything from the match.

Earlier, Pakistan claimed six wickets in the lengthened morning session as the visitors were dismissed for 388.

Sri Lanka resumed on Friday morning with their score on 318/4 and a lead of 153 runs, with Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Matthews at the wicket.

Matthews (42) was the first to fall when he edged a Rahat Ali delivery that nipped away from him and was caught behind in the second over of the morning to make it 320/5.

His dismissal brought Prasanna Jawardene to the wicket, and the wicketkeeper added 21 runs for the seventh wicket with his name-sake, before misjudging a Junaid Khan delivery that came into him slightly to leave him castled for nine.

The next batsman was Herath, but the left-arm spinner didn't last long and was run out for six in the following over.

Clearly unsettled after some verbals with the Pakistani bowlers, Herath set off for a non-existent single, was sent back by Mahela and was found well out of his ground when the bowler Ali hit the target with all three stumps to aim at.

His dismissal meant Sri Lanka had lost three wickets in the 11 overs for 30 runs on the third morning.

In came Shaminda Eranga, who played a few lusty blows before he was dropped with the score on 365/7 by Hafeez at slip off the bowling of Junaid.

In the next over with the score the same, Mahela was the next to go for a well-played 129 when he misjudged a reverse sweep off Saeed Ajmal and was clean bowled. It was Ajmal's first wicket of the innings.

Eranga was the next to go for 14 when he missed a straight one from Bilawal Bhatti, to make it 377/9.

Ajmal thought he trapped Pradeep plumb in front with the score on 386, but replays showed that less than half of the ball would strike the leg stump and the umpire's decision was upheld.

Ajmal again thought he had his man later in the same over with the score unchanged, when the batsman missed an almost identical delivery and was given the finger this time around. He called for the review, though, and Hawkeye suggested that the ball would have spun past the leg stump, much to Ajmal's dismay.

The off-spinner would eventually get his man, however with the score on 388 when Pradeep (3) missed another straight delivery and was given out leg-before. He called for the review again but wasn't as lucky the third time around.
Junaid was arguably the pick of the bowlers despite figures of 3/102, while Ajmal finished with 2/56.

Pakistan were required to bat for three overs before the lunch interval, and unfortunately for them opener Ahmed Shehzad (nine) was caught behind off Rangana Herath when he gloved the last delivery before lunch straight to the keeper.

The home side resumed after the lunch interval with the score on 11/1, but their chances of rescuing the match was dealt a significant blow shortly after when Mohammad Hafeez was caught behind off the bowling of Nuwan Pradeep for one.

It was a typical Hafeez dismissal, fishing outside the off stump to a delivery that had a hint of away movement.

While all the blame should go on Hafeez's shoulder for his dismissal, Khurram Manzoor didn't know much about the delivery that got him, despite the similarities of the dismissal.

The opener was also caught behind off Pradeep – the bowler delivering one that came in with the angle before straightening a touch to take the outside edge.

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