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Sri Lanka sets Pakistan 302 to win 1st test

January 4, 2014

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Sri Lanka set Pakistan a daunting target of 302 runs from a minimum of 67 overs to win the first test after declaring at 480-5 on Saturday.

Resuming day five at 420-5, captain Angelo Mathews (157 not out) and Prasanna Jayawardene (63 not out) frustrated Pakistan’s bowlers for another 1 ½ hours to extend their partnership to 156 runs.

Mathews, who batted the entire fourth day, faced 343 balls and hit 16 fours and a six. The only blemish in his career-best knock came on 138 when Ahmed Shehzad dropped a difficult catch off a top-edged reverse sweep.

Pakistan’s openers started their innings confidently with Shehzad unbeaten on 12 and Khurram Manzoor not out on 8 at lunch.

Pakistan still needed 282 runs in the remaining 62 overs to win. Pakistan’s best ever successful fourth innings run-chase was 315-9 it scored to beat Australia at Karachi in 1994.

Jayawardene, 48 overnight, completed his half century with a pulled boundary off Bilawal Bhatti in the second over of the day, but Pakistan made sure Sri Lanka did not compile quick runs before Mathews finally declared half an hour before lunch. Jayawardene faced 169 balls and hit six fours and a six.

Mathews revived Sri Lanka with a brilliant 138-run fourth wicket stand with his deputy Dinesh Chandimal (89) on the fourth day after they were only ahead by 11 runs by the third day’s play and have lost the top four batsmen.

Pakistan bowlers struggled to get through to the defenses of Mathews with Junaid Khan (3-93) and Bilawal Bhatti (2-146) among wickets.

Ajmal bowled 49 overs but returned wicketless for only fifth time in an innings of his 31-test career conceding 115 runs.

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