Pakistan's efforts to save the second Test against Sri Lanka were carried by veteran duo Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq, with the pair seeing the side to stumps at 132-3 in their second innings in the second Test in Dubai.
Pakistan still trail Sri Lanka by 91 runs after bowling the tourists out for 388 earlier in the day. Mahela Jayawardene, who returned to form with a century, was finally dismissed for 129.
|Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka Scorecard|
|Sri Lanka 1st Innings||(Pak 164)|
|Karunaratne||lbw||b Junaid Khan||32||46||43|
|Sangakkara||lbw||b Rahat Ali||26||41||36|
|Chandimal||c Rahat Ali||b Junaid Khan||12||24||23|
|M Jayawardene||b Ajmal||129||409||278|
|Mathews||c Sarfraz Ahmed||b Rahat Ali||42||122||88|
|P Jayawardene||b Junaid Khan||9||37||32|
|Herath||run out (Rahat Ali)||6||5||4|
|Extras||1nb 1w 1b 7lb||10|
|Total||all out||388||(134.0 ovs)|
|Junaid Khan||36.0||7||102||3||Junaid Khan|
|Rahat Ali||36.0||6||131||2||Rahat Ali|
But it could have been far worse for Pakistan without Younis (62 not out) and Misbah (53 not out). They came together with Pakistan in disarray at 19-3 after Nuwan Pradeep and Rangana Herath had struck. Keeper Prasanna Jayawardene held on to all three catches.
With two days to play Sri Lanka are still the favourites to wrap up a victory—once the pair in the middle are out, Pakistan's batting has looked brittle all series long.
|Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka, 2nd Test Scorecard|
|Pakistan 2nd Innings||1st Inns - 164||Sri Lanka 388|
|Manzoor||c P Jayawardene||b Pradeep||6||30||22|
|Shehzad||c P Jayawardene||b Herath||9||10||7|
|Hafeez||c P Jayawardene||b Pradeep||1||3||4|
|Y Khan||not out||62||208||142|
|Extras||0nb 0w 0b 1lb||1|
|Total||for 3||132||(49.0 ovs)|
However, if Pakistan can fashion any kind of a lead, the tables could turn on Sri Lanka.
Pakistan cleaned up Sri Lanka's final six wickets for just 70 runs, and with three top-order wickets falling in quick succession, the pitch will be tricky to score on. Despite the resistance from Younis and Misbah, their stand owed everything to patience and discipline, rather than attack.
The three-Test series has swung one way and the other since it began in Abu Dhabi last week, and it would be rash to predict an outcome in the two days to come.