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Kandy, Sri Lanka - Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali shared a second wicket stand of 94 runs as Pakistan reached 119 for two wickets in their second innings - a lead of eight runs - at lunch on the fourth day of the third and final Test against Sri Lanka on Wednesday.
Having conceded a 111-run first innings lead, the visitors bravely fought back at the Pallekele Stadium and the onus would be on unbeaten batsmen Azhar (48) and Younus Khan (two) to continue the good work in the second session.
Pakistan's overnight pair of Hafeez (52) and Azhar looked like they would bat throughout the morning session after they overcame some testing bowling by the Sri Lankan seam bowlers, especially Nuwan Kulasekara who bowled without luck.
Hafeez and Azhar batted without any discomfort and were about to wipe out the deficit when Dilhara Fernando provided Sri Lanka with the breakthrough they had been striving for since play began under bright sunshine.
Hafeez, who had completed a half-century off 93 balls, chased a wide delivery 10 minutes before the lunch break and presented a thick edge to lone slip fielder Tharanga Paranavitana.
Azhar and Younus survived the remaining few minutes before lunch, but Pakistan will have a tough task ahead especially with Adnan Akmal, who has fractured his finger injury, looking uncertain to bat.
Sri Lanka lead the three-match series 1-0. – Reuters