1st Test: Pakistan close in on stunning win after Shafique, Babar dominate Sri Lanka spinners on Day 4

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan, 1st Test: Abdullah Shafique hit 112 not out as Pakistan reached 222 for 3 at Stumps, needing 120 more to script a record run-chase in Galle.

Abdullah Shafique hit 112 not as Pakistan closed in on a stunning win in the first Test in Galle (AFP Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Pakistan reached 222 for 3 at Stumps on Day 4, chasing 342
  • Abdullah Shafique hit 112 not out after Babar Azam’s 55
  • Pakistan are eyeing the highest-successful chase in Galle

Pakistan closed in on a record-setting chase at Galle as the visitors headed to Stumps on Day 4 at 222 for 3, chasing 342 against Sri Lanka after a solid batting effort on a spinner-friendly pitch. Pakistan rode on an unbeaten 112 from Abdullah Shafique who set the tone for the mammoth chase with his 2nd Test hundred. Captain Babar Azam followed up his fighting hundred in the first innings with a fifty in the second, continuing his rich vein of form.

It was a stunning batting effort from Shafique as he stitched a solid 87-run opening stand with left-hander Imam-ul-Haq on a pitch when Sri Lanka spinners ran riot in the 2nd innings. Pakistan lost Imam and Azhar Ali in quick succession but Shafique and Babar Azam stitched a 101-run stand that pushed Pakistan towards the target.

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan, 1st Test Day 4 Highlights

Pakistan are all set to break the record for the highest successful fourth-inning chase in Galle — 268 by Sri Lanka against New Zealand in 2019.

Shafique’s unbeaten 112 contained five fours and a six and he had Mohammad Rizwan on seven at the other end as Pakistan need another 120 runs to script history and take a 1-0 lead in the series.

Sri Lanka’s field placements despite having 342 to defend was questioned as Dimuth Karunratne had boundary riders, allowing the likes of Shafique and Babar to knock it around and release the pressure.

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