Younis, Masood centuries put Pakistan at 230-2 vs Sri Lanka
PALLEKELE, Sri Lanka (AP) — Younis Khan and Shan Masood smashed unbeaten centuries Monday to keep Pakistan in contention for a record test win against Sri Lanka. The tourists finished day four of the third and deciding test on 230-2 and require a further 147 runs with one day left.
The pair added an unbroken 217-run stand for the third wicket after Pakistan — chasing a seemingly impossible 377 to win — were reduced to 13-2.
No team has successfully chased more than 352 in Sri Lanka while Pakistan’s highest successful run chase is 315-9 against Australia in Karachi in 1994.
It was Masood’s maiden test century. Playing in just his fifth test match, the 25-year-old opener helped Pakistan rebuild their innings and restored hopes of an impressive series win.
Sri Lanka reviewed two leg before wicket shouts against Masood unsuccessfully when he was on 11 and 79.
Younis, who was run out for three in the first innings, did not allow spinner Tharindu Kaushal to settle. He reached his 30th test hundred and the eighth against Sri Lanka with a glorious cover drive in the penultimate delivery before stumps.
Masood took 93 balls for his fifty and 172 balls for his century which he reached by charging down to Kaushal and smashing a six over long-on.
Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews used all his resources, including part-time spinner Jehan Mubarak, but was unable to break the stand.
Suranga Lakmal removed opener Ahmed Shehzad for a duck and then Dhammika Prasad had Azhar Ali caught down the leg-side for five.
Earlier, Mathews scored his fifth test century to help revive Sri Lanka’s innings.
Mathews (122) was the last man dismissed in the final over before lunch with Sri Lanka’s second innings total on 313.
Mathews started his innings Sunday with his side in deep trouble at 35-3. He swiftly turned things around, however, with partnerships of 45 with Upul Tharanga and 81 with Jehan Mubarak for the fourth and fifth wickets, respectively, and then a sixth-wicket stand of 117 with wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal.
Mathews and Chandimal picked up where they left off after resuming day four on 228-5, with Chandimal reaching his half-century off 76 balls.
Shortly after he reached the mark, however, Pakistan fast bowler Imran Khan hit back with the second new ball, capturing his maiden five-wicket haul (5-58) to end Sri Lanka’s innings.
Chandimal was dismissed when Khan trapped him leg before wicket after scoring 67 off 103 balls with eight boundaries.
Dhammika Prasad was then dismissed on the very next ball.
Mathews was finally dismissed just before lunch after batting for more than five and half hours.