PAK v SL: Shafique's double century, Salman’s hundred puts Pakistan in a commanding position

Colombo, July 26 (IANS) Abdullah Shafique’s maiden double hundred, along with Salman Ali Agha’s second century has put Pakistan in a commanding position on day three of the second Test against Sri Lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground on Wednesday.

Along with in-form Saud Shakeel’s half-century, Pakistan have managed to amass a mammoth 563 for five in 132 overs, leading Sri Lanka by 397 runs at the stumps. Salman and concussion substitute Mohammad Rizwan are unbeaten on 132 and 37 respectively.

The duo are also in an unbeaten stand of 95 for the sixth after Shafique departs for 201 off 326 balls, laced with 19 fours and four sixes. Shakeel, on the other hand, scored 57 off 110 balls, hitting six fours, to increase the misery on Sri Lanka’s bowlers.

In the morning, resuming from the overnight score of 178/2, Pakistan lost Babar Azam for 39. The Pakistan captain added 11 runs to his overnight score, before being trapped lbw by Prabath Jayasuriya in the 48th over.

Shakeel came out to join Abdullah and the pair added 109 runs for the fourth wicket. During his innings, became the only batter in the world to score six half-centuries in seven Test matches with two centuries.

After Shakeel was trapped lbw by Asitha Fernando in the 81st over, wicketkeeper-batter Sarfaraz Ahmed (was struck on the head by Asitha Fernando’s bouncer in the 86th over of the innings and had to return to the pavilion later, retiring hurt for 14 off 22 deliveries.

Later, he was substituted with Mohammad Rizwan, who came in as concussion substitute. Abdullah’s knock was full of controlled aggression and high concentration levels, keeping Sri Lankan bowlers at bay for almost the entire day. He reached his double century with a pulled single to fine leg off Fernando.

But in a bid to up the ante, he sliced to deep mid-off against Jayasuriya in the 114th over, ending his career-best Test knock, as well as fruitful 124-run association with Salman. Salman was then joined by Rizwan in the middle and the pair stitched an unbroken 95 runs for the sixth wicket.

Salman struck 15 fours and one six during his unbeaten 132-run knock which came off 148 balls. On the other hand, Rizwan remained 37 not out off 61 balls, hitting one four and a six in a day of utter domination for Pakistan.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 166 trail Pakistan 563/5 in 132 overs (Abdullah Shafique 201, Agha Salman 132 not out; Asitha Fernando 3-133) by 397 runs

–IANS

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