Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 3rd Test in Sharjah: Pakistan level series in UAE after thrilling run chase - Emirates24|7

Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 3rd Test in Sharjah: Pakistan level series in UAE after thrilling run chase

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Azhar Ali hit a brilliant hundred as Pakistan pulled off a thrilling win in the third and final Test against Sri Lanka in Sharjah on Monday, levelling the series 1-1.

Set a daunting 302 to win in a possible 59 overs, Pakistan owed their successful chase to Ali's fifth Test century (103) as he and Misbah-ul-Haq shared 109-run stand for the fifth wicket.

Misbah, who finished with 68 not out, hit the winning single with nine balls to spare in fading light.

Ali, ironically dropped for the first two Tests, hit paceman Suranga Lakmal for a boundary, then twice took two to reach his hundred off 133 balls.

He hit six boundaries before falling caught behind with just seven still needed to win.

Pakistan's chances seemed to have faded away at 107/3 at tea, as they needed 195 in the last 35 overs. But Ali upped the tempo during a rapid 89-run partnership in 14.5 overs with Sarfraz Ahmed (48) which left Sri Lanka on the defensive.

Even when Sarfraz was out, caught behind off paceman Shaminda Eranga, Pakistan needed 116. Sarfraz hit four boundaries and a six off 46 balls.

But Misbah supported Ali as Pakistan achieved their second best chase in all Test cricket, behind the 314 they chased against Australia in Karachi in 1994.

Sri Lanka had won the second Test in Dubai by nine wickets while the first Test ended in a draw in Abu Dhabi.

Pakistan had lost Ahmed Shehzad (21), Khurram Manzoor (21) and Younis Khan (29) as they were derailed in their chase.

Needing to score at a rate of more than five an over to win, Pakistan were given a rapid 35-run start by the sixth over but paceman Suranga Lakmal (3-79) halted that progress by dismissing openers Shehzad and Manzoor within 13 runs.

Younis Khan tried to increase the pace before being caught off Angelo Mathews two overs before tea, but the scenario changed in the last session.

With the series tied, Pakistan also remained unbeaten in five series in the UAE, which has become their home since security fears - sparked in the wake of attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009 - forced them to play at neutral venues.

They twice drew series with South Africa (2010 and 2013) and beat Sri Lanka (2011) and England (2012).

Earlier, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 214 in their second innings, with left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman finishing with 4-56 and off-spinner Saeed Ajmal taking 3-53, but not before their batsmen had kept Pakistan at bay on the morning of the fifth and final day.

On an exciting day when both teams had a chance of victory, Mathews (31) and Prasanna Jayawardene (49) shared a 62-run stand for the sixth wicket and batted positively to add 56 in the first hour after the tourists resumed at 133/5.

But Mohammad Talha gave Pakistan their much-needed breakthrough when he had Mathews caught off a miscued hook.

Rehman then grabbed two quick wickets to put the brakes on Sri Lanka, having Dilruwan Perera caught at short-leg for eight before removing Rangana Herath for a first-ball duck.

Herath recorded a golden pair in the match as he was also dismissed first ball in the first innings.

Prasanna hit six boundaries in his 88-ball knock before he was dismissed by Ajmal, who also removed Shaminda Eranga to wrap up the innings.

CLOSE

Misbah hits the winnings run as they scrambled for a single as Pakistan win the third Test against Sri Lanka by five wickets with nine balls to spare and level the series 1-1 at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday.

Chasing a daunting target of 302 in 59 overs, they were home with nine balls to spare thanks to a solid century from Azhar Ali (103).

Azhar played the anchor role batting over four hours and facing 137 balls during his knock.

"I didnt play well before this match. I wanted to play positively and I did that. Most valued innings in my career," said man of the match Azhar Ali.

A belligerent knock off 48 off 46 balls from Sarfraz Ahmed who slammed four boundaries and a six during a racy 89-run stand for the fourth wicket turned the tide in Pakistan's favour.

Skipper Misbah ul Haq held his nerve amid fading light and time wasting tactics by Sri Lanka to steer Pakistan home with an unbeaten 68 off 107 balls.

He shared in a 109-run stand for the fifth wicket with Azhar who fell with victory in sight.

An elated Pakistan captain Misbah ul Haq dedicated the victory to outgoing coach Dave Whatmore.

"Really much wanted win, especially for Dav (Whatmore). We wanted to win it for him and level the series. We really enjoyed being with him for all two years. We love you and we wish you all success," said Misbah.

He said they were positive throughout the match since they were determined to level the series.

"Even when they scored 400-plus everyone was positive and even with this 300 target, we knew we could go for it and get the win. Great knock by Azhar. It's surely a great moment and it gives great confidence to the team for more success in the future," said Misbah.

Lakmal claimed three for 79 while Eranga and Mathews snared a wicket apiece.

But Sri Lanka's ace spinner Herath went wicketless for 100 in 19 overs with the Pakistan batsman blunting the threat he was expected to pose on a slow turning track.

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews blamed the batsman for their defeat after being adjudged man of the series for his aggregate of 412 runs.

"I thought the first three and a half days we were brilliant and the batting in the second innings, we collapsed. We should have got more than 260," he said.

"They were desperate to win because they were 1-0 down so we held on. Can't blame the spinners, it was more our batters' fault," he said of Herath's failure to get purchase on the turning track.

Lakmal strikes having Azhar caught behind. Pak 295-5 in 56.3 overs.

Azhar Ali c Prasanna Jayawardene b Lakmal 103 (137b 6x4 0x6)

Misbah smashes a boundary off Lakmal.

Pakistan need 12 off the last three overs with the umpire warning Sri Lankan captain Mathews for time wasting. Pak 290-4 in 56 overs.

The 100-run partnership between Azhar and Misbah for the unfinished fifth wicket comes in just 111 balls.

Azhar completes his fifth Test century off 133 balls as Pakistan are racing to victory. Pak 285-4 in 55 overs.

Azhar Ali slams Lakmal to long on for a boundary to move to 96.

Pakistan need a run a ball of the last five overs. Pak 272-4 in 54 overs.

Misbah completes his 25th Test half century off 59 balls.

A little hold up in play as Eranga gets treatment after injuring his hand after colliding with Misbah.

Pakistan are 267-4 in 53 overs needing 35 from six overs.

Azhar gets a much needed boundary for Pakistan slashing Eranga to third man. Pak 262-4 in 52 overs.

Pakistan need less than 50 for a historic win although shadows are lengthening at the stadium. Pak 255-4 in 51 overs.

Good over for Sri Lanka with Eranga conceding only a single. Pak 250-4 in 50 overs.

Eranga concedes just three runs with Misbah surviving a confident leg before appeal. Pak 245-5 in 48 overs.

Misbah gets another boundary off Herath with a reverse sweep with Kaushal diving over the ball. Pak 242-4 in 47 overs.

Another good over for Pakistan as they get five runs off Mathews. Pak 236-4 in 46 overs.

Misbah gets a boundary off the first ball from Herath after the drinks interval with a brilliantly executed reverse sweep. Pak 231-4 in 45 overs.

Pakistan are in the driving seat requiring 78 in 15 mandatory overs as drinks are taken. Pak 224-4 in 44 overs.

Pakistan get five off Herath's over with Misbah playing a couple of reverse sweep. Pak 221-4 in 43 overs.

Sri Lanka continue to leak singles. Pak 216-4 in 42 overs.

Herath returns to the attack but Pakistan are content to pick up singles. Pak 212-4 in 41 overs.

Misbah hooks a bouncer from Lakmal to the fine leg fence as Pakistan get 12 off the over. Pak 208-4 in 40 overs.

Pakistan are 196-4 in 39 overs and required 106 from 20 overs.

Sri Lanka are paying the price for negative bowling as Pakistan seem to be cruising to a famous victory.  Pak 192-4 in 38 overs.

The 89-run stand for the fourth wicket between Sarfraz and Azhar in just 14.5 overs has turned the match around in favour of Pakistan. Pak 186-4 in 37 overs.

Eranga gets a crucial breakthrough for Sri Lanka as Sarfraz gloves a bouncer with Prasanna taking a superb catch.

Sri Lanka were successful with the decision review after Sarfraz was initially given not out. Pak 186-4 in 36.4 overs.    

Sarfraz Ahmed c Prasanna Jayawardene b Eranga 48 (46b 4x4 1x6)

Lakmal returns to the attacks and Azhar finds the gap timing it beautifully to the square leg fence. Pak 181-3 in 36 overs.

Pakistan have scored 66 runs in 11 overs after tea. Pak 173-3 in 35 overs.

Azhar completes his 16th Test half century off 79 balls with a single off Eranga.

Eranga returns to the attacks replacing Herath.

Pakistan get some bonus runs as Prasanna standing up to Mathews concedes four byes. Pak 171-3 in 34 overs.

Azhar paddle sweeps Herath to fine leg for another boundary. Pak 163-3 in 33 overs.

Pakistan require 156 off a minimum 29 overs.

Big over for Pakistan as Herath goes for 15 with Sarfraz smacking a couple of boundaries and whacking a six. Pak 143-3 in 29 overs.

Sarfraz gives himself room to punch Herath for a boundary over cover. Pak 123-3 in 27 overs.

Azhar smashes a full toss from Eranga through the covers for a boundary. Pak 117-3 in 26 overs.

TEA

Pakistan were 107 at tea on the fifth and final day as their chances to win the third and final Test faded away in Sharjah on Monday.

Set a daunting 302 to win in a maximum of 59 overs, Pakistan lost Ahmed Shehzad (21), Khurram Manzoor (21) and Younis Khan (29) as they were left to score another 195 in the remaining 35 overs or bat out for a draw.

Azhar Ali (29) and Sarfraz Ahmed (seven) were at the crease.

The likely draw will mean Sri Lanka take the three-match series 1-0 after winning the second Test in Dubai by nine wickets. The first Test ended in a draw in Abu Dhabi.

Sri Lanka were dismissed for 214 in their second innings.

Left arm spinner Abdur Rehman was the pick of the bowlers with 4-56, while paceman Mohammad Talha had figures of 3-65 and Saeed Ajmal took 3-53.

LUNCH

Pakistan were set a daunting target of 302 in 59 overs to win the third and final Test and level the series against Sri Lanka in Sharjah on Monday.

Sri Lanka were bowled out for 214 in their second innings, with left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman finishing with 4-56 and off-spinner Saeed Ajmal taking 3-53, but not before their batsmen had kept Pakistan at bay on the morning of the fifth and final day.

Prasanna Jayawardene made 49 and held on almost to the end, forcing a 15-minute delay in the lunch break.

Sri Lanka batted positively to add a quick 56 runs in the first hour with Angelo Mathews (31) and Prasanna negotiating the pace-cum spin attack without problems, raising hopes of a declaration after lunch.

But Mohammad Talha gave Pakistan their much needed breakthrough when he had Mathews caught off a miscued hook after he had added 62 for the sixth wicket with Prasanna.

Rehman then grabbed two quick wickets to put the brakes on Sri Lanka, having Dilruwan Perera caught at short-leg for eight before removing Rangana Herath for a first-ball duck.

Herath recorded a golden pair in the match as he was also dismissed first ball in the first innings.

Prasanna hit six boundaries in his 88-ball knock before he was dismissed by Ajmal, who also removed Shaminda Eranga to wrap up the innings.

Pakistan paid the price for dropping two crucial catches in the last hour on Sunday, with Mathews let off on 11 by Khurram Manzoor and Prasanna dropped by wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed on nought.

Sri Lanka also carried an invaluable 87-run lead over from the first innings.

Eranga denies Rehman a hat-trick. SL 203-8 in 91 overs and lead by 290.

Rehman is on a hat-trick after dismissing Dilruwan and Herath off successive balls. SL 203-8 in 90.2 overs.

Rangana Herath c Younis Khan b Abdur Rehman 0 (1b 0x4 0x6)

Dilruwan Perera c Azhar Ali b Abdur Rehman 8 (22b 1x4 0x6)

Dilruwan opens his account with a boundary slapping a bouncer from Junaid over point. SL 195-6 in 85 overs.

Sri Lanka have scored at a brisk rate in the fifth morning adding 56 runs in 12.4 overs in the first hour of play to extend their lead to 276 before losing Mathews. SL 189-6 in 83.4 overs.

Mathews perishes miscuing a bouncer from Talha to Manzoor at square leg after having hit a couple of boundaries. SL 189-6 in 83.4 overs.

Angelo Mathews c Khurram Manzoor b Mohammad Talha 31 (128b 4x4 0x6)

Mathews is showing some aggression coming down the track and lofting Talha over the infield to the cover boundary and then hooking a bouncer to the fine leg fence.

Prasanna gets a boundary with an exquisite late cut to third man off Rehman to bring up the 50-run partnership with Mathews for the unfinished sixth wicket off 82 balls. SL 179-5 in 82 overs.

Pakistan have taken the second new ball after 80.3 overs with Sri Lanka 171-5.

The second new ball is due for Pakistan with Sri Laka 171-5 in 80 overs enjoying a lead of 258.

Mathews gets his first boundary of the morning square cutting Rehman past point. SL 168-5 in 78 overs.

Rehman into the attack replacing Ajmal and Prasanna steers him through the gap on the off to third man for his fourth boundary of the morning. SL 159-5 in 76 overs.

Sri Lanka are playing with more positive intent in the final morning with Prasanna cracking a couple of boundaries off Talha as they seek to extend their lead. SL 154-5 in 75 overs.

Prasanna hit the first boundary of the morning sweeping Ajmal to square leg. SL 146-5 in 74 overs.

Sri Lanka resumed day five on 133-5 in their second innings enjoying a lead of 220 in the third Test against Pakistan at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday.

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