Sri Lanka fight back in Pallekele Test

Paranavitana, Samaraweera lift hosts to 142-3 at lunch

Sri Lanka emerged unscathed from a testing morning session to frustrate Pakistan's bid for quick wickets on the third day of the final Test in Pallekele on Tuesday.

The tourists, seeking a series-levelling win, had pinned Sri Lanka against the ropes by reducing them to 44-3 in reply to their own modest 226 on the first day.

When play resumed on Tuesday after the entire second day's play had been washed out, the fourth-wicket pair of Tharanga Paranavitana and Thilan Samaraweera lifted the hosts to 142 without further loss by lunch.

The pair survived a hostile spell from the Pakistani seamers, especially left-armer Junaid Khan, to add 98 runs in overcast conditions and leave their team just 84 runs behind Pakistan's total.

Left-handed Paranavitana was unbeaten on 52, his highest in the series, reaching his 11th Test half-century by smashing Younis Khan through the covers for his sixth boundary.

Samaraweera was on 45, having more than doubled his total aggregate of 21 runs in the previous two Tests.

Pakistan felt the absence of wicket-keeper Adnan Akmal, who was confined to the dressing room with a hairline fracture in his left hand sustained while batting on the opening day.

Taufeeq Umar, who kept wickets, has so far conceded 15 byes.

Sri Lanka lead the series 1-0, having won the first Test in Galle by 209 runs. The second Test in Colombo was drawn.
 

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