Opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad cashed in on a very flat pitch to hit a maiden Test century but Sri Lanka hit back through Rangana Herath’s triple strike to restrict Pakistan to 291 for 6 in the decisive third Test on Saturday.
Shehzad made 147 off 275 balls with 12 fours and a six in just over five-and-a-half hours before he became one of Herath’s three victims in the last session on the third day.
Captain Misbah-ul-Haq was unbeaten on 36 as Herath (3/88) also had Sarfraz Ahmed caught behind in the last over of the day. Pakistan remained 137 runs adrift of Sri Lanka, after The Lions declared its first innings at 428 for 9.
Sri Lanka did well to restrict Pakistan to 169 for 2 by tea before Shehzad upped the scoring rate soon after. He completed his century off 230 balls with seven fours before smashing another five boundaries and also adding a six to his haul.
Shehzad made an overly ambitious attempt to reverse sweep against Herath, but was unable to avoid dragging the ball back onto his stumps when he looked set to dominate the bowling.
Sri Lanka didn’t go for the second new ball and Shaminda Eranga reverse swung the old ball enough to win lbw decision against Asad Shafiq before Herath got a faint edge of Ahmed.
Herath struck early after tea when Younis Khan (17) was caught behind down the leg-side as Pakistan had to pay a heavy price of losing four wickets for 122 runs in the last session.
Sri Lanka — leading the series 1-0 and needing just a draw to clinch the series — did well in the first session by conceding just 66 runs after Pakistan resumed at the overnight 19 for 0. Shehzad and Khurram Manzoor (52) labored for only 23 runs in the first hour with Shehzad hitting two legside boundaries off fast bowler Suranga Lakmal.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 428 for 9 dec (D Perera 95, A Mathews 91, K Sangakkara 52; J Khan 3/81, Md Talha 3/99) v Pakistan 291 for 6 (A Shehzad 147, K Manzoor 52; R Herath 3/88)