Shafique Keeps Pakistan Ticking Along In Chase

Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Shafique keeps Pakistan ticking along in chase. Abdullah Shafique reached 77 at Tea on Day 4.

Shafique Keeps Pakistan Ticking Along In ChaseAbdullah Shafique reached 77 at Tea on Day 4.

Abdullah Shafique's defiant unbeaten 77 kept Pakistan afloat as the visitors progressed to 147 for 2 at Tea on Day 4 of the Galle Test, still requiring 195 to post a memorable victory.

Pakistan began the session with all their 10 wickets intact. For a period of five-six overs after the break, the opening duo looked largely untroubled by Sri Lanka's spinners. Shafique also reached his fifty in the 27th over. However, against the run of play, Imam was stumped on the back of sharp work from Niroshan Dickwella. Ramesh Mendis took the crucial scalp.

Sri Lanka's spinners then kept it tight, resulting in the dismissal of Azhar Ali. The No.3 batter, who was struggling to rotate the strike, tried to drive Prabath Jayasuriya but could only edge it to Dhananjaya de Silva at slip. The in-form Babar Azam then took advantage of dragged down deliveries from Jayasuriya to crack a few pulls. Shafique too essayed the occasional sweep to keep the scorecard ticking over as the duo guided the side to tea.

Sri Lanka would hope for especially Jayasuriya to bowl with better control in the crucial final session. In contrast to the afternoon session, Pakistan had started on a rather nervy note in the morning in pursuit of a substantial total. Shafique survived a close LBW shout off Jayasuriya. The on-field decision was not out and the ball-tracker suggested it would be umpire's call, with the ball projected to have not hit more than half of the leg-stump. In the very next over, Shafique's batting partner, Imam, had a narrow escape too. In Imam's case, he was adjudged LBW off Kasun Rajitha. However, he took the review and the ball-tracker suggested it would miss the stumps.

Shafique and Imam then looked to play with more intent, bringing out the lofted shot, flick and the occasional cut and drive to collect crucial runs while facing the spinners and Rajitha. Earlier, Dinesh Chandimal had missed out on cracking a brilliant hundred by just six after Naseem Shah cleaned up the No.11 batter Jayasuriya.

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 222 and 337 (Dinesh Chandimal 94*, Kusal Mendis 76; Mohammad Nawaz 5-88) lead Pakistan 218 (Babar Azam 119; Prabath Jayasuriya 5-82) and 147/2 (Abdullah Shafique 77*; Ramesh Mendis 1-47) by 194 runs

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