Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali tons help Pakistan set 270-run target for Sri Lanka

Asad Shafiq celebrates after completing his century on thea fifth day of the third Test AFP

By CricketCountry Staff

Pallekele: Jul 12, 2012

Sri Lanka reached 27 for no loss at lunch after Pakistan set a target of 270 runs on the final day of the third Test at Pallekele on Thursday.

Asad Shafiq completed his century and remained unbeaten on 100, as Pakistan declared their second innings on 380-8 with Adnan Akmal being unbeaten on 35.

Pakistan, who resumed at 299-8, didn’t lose any wicket in the first session and scored 81 runs off about 25 overs to set a formidable target against the home side.

Earlier on the fourth day, Pakistan’s Azhar Ali smashed a second century in successive matches Wednesday to leave the final Test against Sri Lanka poised for an intriguing finish.

Azhar made 136 as Pakistan wriggled out of a corner to post 299-8 in their second innings by stumps on the fourth day in Pallekele, a lead of 188 runs with two wickets in hand.

The tourists now have three sessions on the fifth day to conjure a series-levelling win on a wearing pitch that will offer some turn to prolific off-spinner Saeed Ajmal.

But Sri Lanka remain favourites to win or draw the match and clinch their first series victory in three years since beating New Zealand at home in 2009.

The hosts won the first Test in Galle by 209 runs before the second in Colombo was drawn.

Azhar, who made 157 in the Colombo Test, held the innings together for six hours, hitting 13 boundaries in his fourth Test century and the third this year.

Brief Scores: Pakistan 226 & 380 for 8 dec (Azhar Ali 136, Asad Shafiq 100*, Mohammad Hafeez 52; Rangana Herath 4 for 99) lead Sri Lanka 337 (Tharanga Paranavitana 75, Thisara Perera 75, Thilan Samaraweera 73; Junaid Khan 5 for 70) & 27 for no loss (Dinesh Chandimal 14*, Tharanga Paranavitana 9*) by 243 runs.

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