Galle: Sarfraz Ahmed narrowly missed his fourth Test century but his counter-attack put paid to Sri Lanka’s hopes of a sizeable first-innings lead on the fourth day of the opening Test against Pakistan at Galle on Saturday.
The hosts would have hoped for quick wickets when Pakistan resumed in the morning on 118/5 but a sixth-wicket stand of 139 between Sarfraz (96) and Asad Shafiq (64 not out) thwarted them.
Pakistan reduced their first-innings deficit to 41 by the end of the first session, reaching 259/6 with Wahab Riaz (eight) the other unbeaten batsman.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz put Sri Lanka’s disciplined attack in disarray with his innovative batting and hit 13 fours in his 86-ball knock.
A similar unorthodox shot, when he tried to play a sweep against fast bowler Dhammika Prasad, brought about his downfall as the ball took the inside edge and went on to hit the stumps.
The dismissal gave Prasad his third wicket of the innings and Sri Lanka their only success in the session.
Shafiq on the other hand was calm and composed during the partnership and hit three boundaries in his 149-ball stay as he completed his 12th Test half century.