Pakistan Builds 397-run Lead Over Sri Lanka After Shafique Double Century in 2nd Test


COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Opener Abdullah Shafique hit a career-best 201 as Pakistan built a huge 397-run lead over Sri Lanka on the third day of the second test.

Pakistan was 563-5 in its first innings at stumps Wednesday at the Sinhalese Sports Club.

Shafique’s total came off 326 deliveries and contained 19 fours and four sixes. He improved on his previous best score in test cricket — 160 last year, also against Sri Lanka — reaching his first double hundred with a pulled single off Asitha Fernando, who took 3-133 in 24 overs.

“I am delighted with my double hundred but I will be more happy if we go on to win this test match,” Shafique said. “It’s still a good wicket to bat on. Our lead is almost 400 now and we will try to get as many (runs) as possible and then attack their top order. We are in a very good position in this test match.”

Soon after completing his double hundred, Shafique took on Prabath Jayasuriya (2-181) but failed to clear long-off as Dilshan Madushanka took the catch.

Pakistan won the first test in Galle by four wickets and is heading for a 2-0 sweep.

“We have given away too much advantage and we need to see how well we can wrestle back the initiative in the next two days,” Sri Lanka spin bowling coach Piyal Wijetunga said.

Sri Lanka’s bowlers toiled hard with little success on a batting-friendly surface and the hosts were ruing their batting collapse in the first innings where they were dismissed for 166 runs after choosing to bat first.

Shafique had got a life on 42 when Jayasuriya put down a return catch. He had been given out leg before wicket to Jayasuriya on 74 but the batter successfully overturned the decision.

Dropped catches have cost Sri Lanka dearly this series. Saud Shakeel was dropped twice in Galle and scored a double hundred.

Shafique added 89 runs for the third wicket with Babar Azam (39) before the Pakistan captain was given leg before wicket to Jayasuriya.

A 109-run stand followed for the fourth wicket between Shafique and Shakeel (57).

Sri Lanka opted for the second new ball soon after it was available and Fernando claimed his third wicket in the innings when he trapped Shakeel lbw.

Agha Salman, who had missed a hundred in the first test, wasn’t going to miss out on one this time round. He reached his ton with a dab that ran between slip and gully to the boundary.

A bouncer by Fernando hit Sarfaraz Ahmed on the helmet and he retired hurt on 14. Pakistan’s appeal for a concussion substitute was granted by match referee David Boon and Mohammad Rizwan was drafted into the team.

Rizwan was unbeaten on 37 at stumps while Agha Salman was on 132.

Pakistan was 273-3 at lunch and 397-4 at tea.

Source: Associated Press