x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Rain leaves Pakistan with uphill task against Sri Lanka

Pakistan's hopes of levelling the Test series with Sri Lanka have been hampered after rain meant no play after lunch on day three in Colombo.

Sri Lankan ground staff pull a tarp over the grounds as rain stops play during the third day of the second Test match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Sri Lankan ground staff pull a tarp over the grounds as rain stops play during the third day of the second Test match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Pakistan's hopes of levelling the Test series against Sri Lanka suffered a massive blow as no play was possible after lunch on day three due to persistent rain in Colombo.

The tourists, who lost the opening Test in Galle by 209 runs, finally declared their mammoth innings on 551 for six and Junaid Khan got them off to a fantastic start in the field by dismissing Tharanga Paranavitana for a duck.

Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara steadied the ship by putting on an unbroken 59 in 11 overs to take Sri Lanka to 70 for one at lunch before the heavens opened during the interval and the day's play was finally called off at 3.35pm local time.

Mohammad Hafeez's 196 and Azhar Ali's 157 had already put Pakistan in a commanding position and they continued to steadily accumulate this morning.

They did not start well, however, as Asad Shafiq was run out in the second over of the day following Dilshan's direct hit from square-leg.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq struck two fours off Nuwan Pradeep and moved to his half-century soon after before Adnan Akmal departed when he tamely struck Rangana Herath to Dilshan at cover.

Abdur Rehman hammered two sixes down the ground off Herath and Suraj Randiv respectively, with Misbah, on 66 not out, finally declaring shortly afterwards.

Sri Lanka got off to a dismal start in reply when Paranavitana inside edged Junaid on to his pads to Azhar at short-leg in the fourth over.

But Dilshan did not want to be shackled and crunched successive fours off Junaid before repeating the trick in the next over, with Aizaz Cheema the unlucky bowler.

Dilshan struck nine fours in his unbeaten 46 off 54 balls and was ably supported by Sangakkara, who will resume on 22 not out tomorrow.

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