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Sri Lanka sets Pakistan 302 for victory

January 20, 2014

SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Prasanna Jayawardene fell just short of his half century, smashing an aggressive 49 as Sri Lanka set Pakistan a stiff target of 302 with a minimum of 59 overs left in the third and decisive test on Monday.

Resuming at the overnight score of 133-5 on the last day, Sri Lanka’s tailenders frustrated Pakistan before the second innings eventually ended on 214 at lunch on the last day.

It gave Sri Lanka a healthy lead of 301 runs after Pakistan — trailing 1-0 in the series — conceded 87-run first innings lead.

Jayawardene hit six fours and added 62 runs with captain Angelo Mathews (31) before he was caught close to the wicket by Azhar Ali off Saeed Ajmal (3-53).

Mathews had not added to his overnight score of 14 when he survived an lbw appeal against Mohammad Talha (3-65) as Pakistan’s luck seemed to have run out of television referrals in the series.

Jayawardene made Sri Lanka’s intentions clear from the outset by scoring at a brisk pace as he added 56 runs in the first hour with Mathews before Pakistan struck with the second new ball.

Talha lured Mathews to hook the fast bowler and Khurram Manzoor, who had dropped the Sri Lanka captain on 9 late on the fourth day, caught him at deep square leg.

Left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman (4-56) struck off successive deliveries to dismiss Dilruwan Perera and Rangana Herath, but Shaminda Eranga successfully defended the hat-trick ball.

Herath got a golden pair in the match when he was caught by Younis Khan in the slips without scoring after the left-hander was also out for first ball in Sri Lanka’s first innings of 428-9 declared.

Sri Lanka’s last wicket pair frustrated Pakistan for nearly five overs before Ajmal finally wrapped up the innings when Shaminda Eranga top edged a cut to Rehman at point.

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