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SL in command

Dubai: Younis Khan and captain Misbah-ul-Haq hit fighting half centuries to lead Pakistan to 132 for three in the second innings and narrow Sri Lanka’s lead to 91 on the third day of the second Test on Friday.

Younis was batting on 62 while Misbah was on 53 as they revived their side from a perilous 19 for three.

Earlier, Sri Lanka was bowled out for 388 and stretched the lead to 223 runs despite Mahela Jayawardene receiving little support from the lower order.

Jayawardene, 106 overnight, endured the pain from his stitched left hand and moved to 129 off 278 balls when his leg stump was uprooted while attempting a reverse sweep off Saeed Ajmal. Pacemen Junaid Khan took 3/102 and Rahat Ali claimed 2/131.

The events that unfolded on the morning of the third day showed Pakistan what could have been had their wicket-keeper Sarfaraz Ahmed not dropped Angelo Mathews off Rahat Ali the previous evening. The Sri Lanka captain was on 5 at the time, his partnership with Mahela Jayawardene was 12 and their lead was 74. Rahat drew a similar edge from Mathews this morning, before the batsman had added to his overnight score, and Sarfaraz dived to his right to successfully take the catch.

Pakistan went on to dismiss Sri Lanka by taking six wickets for 70 runs in the first session. Between those edges from Mathews, however, he had moved to 42 and his partnership with Mahela had grown to 93, swelling Sri Lanka’s lead towards 200. By the time the visitors were out for 388, 20 minutes before lunch in an extended session, their advantage was such that Pakistan required an escape act similar to what Sri Lanka pulled off to save the Abu Dhabi Test.