Ton from Azhar Ali squared the series – 3rd Test vs. Sri Lanka

Pakistan 341 (Ahmed Shehzad 147, Misbah-ul-Haq 63, Rangana Herath 5-125) and 5-302 (Azhar Ali 103, Misbah-ul-Haq 68*, Sarfraz Ahmed 48, Suranga Lakmal 3-79) beat Sri Lanka 9-428 declared (Dilruwan Perera 95, Angelo Mathews 91, Junaid Khan 3-81) and 214 (Prasanna Jayawardene 49, Mahela Jayawardene 46, Abdur Rehman 4-56) by five wickets.

A match winning hundred from Azhar Ali, well supported by his skipper, Misbah-ul-haq and Sarfraz Ahmed won the third Test for Pakistan against Sri Lanka.

The Lankan Lions declared their first innings at 9-428 and managed 214 in the second. The hosts were bowled out for 341 in the first and smashed 302 for the loss of just five wickets in the second innings.

Azhar Ali (Pakistan) was declared ‘Player of the match’ for his courageous century.

Angelo Mathews (Sri Lanka) was announced ‘Player of the series’ for his leadership and excellent batting.

The third and final Test of the series concluded on Monday, January 20, 2013, at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Azhar Ali - A match winning hundred
Azhar Ali – A match winning hundred

Earlier, the visitors started the day at 5-133 after 71 overs whereas Angelo Mathews and Prasanna Jayawardene were batting for 14 and 6 runs. The batsmen got off nicely and enhanced the score to 189 when Mathews was dismissed for 31. The home bowlers never looked back from there and made things difficult for the tourists. Jayawardene was gone for 49 and the innings of the entire Islanders team was folded back for 214 in 101.4 overs.

Abdur Rehman was the most successful bowler with four wickets whereas Mohammad Talha and Saeed Ajmal gathered two each.

Pakistan required 302 runs to win the match in 59 overs and they lost two early wickets for 48 runs when Younis Khan joined in with Azhar Ali. They crept to 97 in 21.5 overs as the first surrendered his wicket for 29 while Sarfraz Ahmed was upgraded in the batting order. The tempo of the game was changed instantly and the boundaries started flowing from the willows of the pair. The score was enhanced to 186 in 36.4 overs when Sarfraz Ahmed departed for 48 and was replaced by Misbah-ul-Haq.

Azhar Ali kept on cruising at his end whereas his captain was consolidating at the other side. They maintained the flow of runs according to the target and Misbah-ul-Haq attained his 25th Test fifty comfortably. Azhar Ali powered his fifth Test hundred in the process and was caught behind by Prasanna Jayawardene off Suranga Lakmal for 103 as the score reached 295 after 56.3 overs. Asad Shafiq walked in next and Misbah-ul-Haq hit the winning run on the third ball of the 58th one. The latter remained unbeaten for 68 while the home side piled up 5-302 in 57.3 overs.

Suranga Lakmal was the highest wicket taker with three whereas Shaminda Eranga and Angelo Mathews shared one each.

Pakistan clinched the final encounter by a big margin of five wickets and levelled the series at 1-1.


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