SL fighting to save first Test

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Sri Lanka were left fighting to save the first Test against Pakistan on the third day in Abu Dhabi, still trailing by 108 runs at tea. Photo by: Anesh Debiky

Abu Dhabi – Sri Lanka were left fighting to save the first Test against Pakistan on the third day in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, still trailing by 108 runs at tea.

Opener Dimuth Karunaratne was bowled by paceman Junaid Khan for 24 before Kaushal Silva (32) and Kumar Sangakkara (14) as Sri Lanka reached tea at 71-1, having started their second innings with a 179-run deficit.

Pakistan were bowled out for 383 an over before lunch, after Sri Lanka had set a first innings total of 204.

Karunaratne looked steady in a 47-run start before he misjudged a delivery from Junaid and was bowled. He hit three boundaries during his 56-ball knock.

Sri Lanka will now look to the experienced Sangakkara, who hit an epic but chancy double hundred against Pakistan to draw a Test at this same venue in 2011, to notch up a big score.

Sri Lanka's pace and spin attack led the fightback in the first session as Pakistan lost their last six wickets for just 54 runs after resuming the day at 327-4.

Paceman Shaminda Eranga finished with 3-80 while left-arm spinner Rangana Herath took 3-90 Ä all his three wickets coming in ten balls on Thursday. Fast bowler Suranga Lakmal grabbed 2-99

Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul Haq scored 135. He hit 16 boundaries and a six off 306 balls before being last man out, caught at long-off off by Herath.

In all Misbah batted for 425 minutes and his 218-run partnership with Younis Khan (136) on Wednesday set Pakistan on track for their big lead.

Pakistan lost overnight batsman Asad Shafiq (13) in the fourth over of the day Thursday. He flicked Lakmal to Silva, who took another smart catch at square-leg.

Eranga then accounted for wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal for six before Bilawal Bhatti (14) helped his skipper add 27 for the seventh wicket.

But Bhatti went to Angelo Mathews before Herath dismissed Saeed Ajmal and Rahat Ali off consecutive deliveries to restrict Pakistan's lead. Test debutant Sachitra Senanayake, included as second spinner, went wicketless.

The second Test will be played in Dubai (January 8-12) and the third in Sharjah (January 16-20). – Sapa-AFP

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