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Khan century leads Pakistan to 251-3, lead of 47

January 1, 2014

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Younis Khan hit his 23rd test century and captain Misbah-ul-Haq was eyeing his fifth as they rode Pakistan to 251-3 against Sri Lanka and a 47-run lead at tea on the second day of the first test on Wednesday.

Khan was 103 not out with 13 fours and a six while Misbah hit 10 fours in his 74 in their aggressive 168-run partnership for the fourth wicket that denied Sri Lanka success in the second session.

Sri Lanka had the wickets of Mohammad Hafeez (11) and Ahmed Shehzad (38) inside the first hour after Pakistan resumed at 46-1 overnight, but then Misbah and Khan took charge.

Misbah survived a leg before wicket television referral off Rangana Herath on 48, and had a lucky escape on 69 when Mahela Jayawardene couldn’t judge a catch at leg slip.

Both batsmen guided Pakistan to 121-3 by lunch before they cut loose by scoring 130 runs in the second session with the pitch considerably easing for batting.

Khan completed his half century off 100 balls with nine fours when he hit fast bowler Suranga Lakmal for two boundaries in one over. Misbah, who finished last year as topscorer in one-day internationals, hit identical fours and faced a similar number of deliveries to complete his 23rd test fifty.

Khan upped the scoring tempo and led Pakistan past Sri Lanka’s first-innings score of 204 when he lofted Herath over long on for a big six as he dominated Sri Lanka’s premier left-arm spinner.

Khan equaled Pakistan great Javed Miandad’s number of test centuries when he cover drove Herath to the cover boundary just before tea as he raised his second fifty off only 47 deliveries. Khan trails only Mohammad Yousuf (24) and Inzamam-ul-Haq (25) on Pakistan’s list of leading test centurions.

Earlier, Pakistan added 75 in the first session but lost the wickets of Hafeez and Shehzad through some smart field placings by Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews.

Hafeez was brilliantly caught one-handed by a diving Kaushal Silva at short cover after he started well by hitting two straight boundaries off Lakmal, 1-66.

Hafeez forced his way back into the test 11 ahead of test specialist Azhar Ali after hitting three centuries in last month’s 3-2 victory in the one-day series against Sri Lanka.

He showed a glimpse of that form before going for an extravagant drive and Silva dived in time to pluck the catch inches off the ground.

Shaminda Eranga, 1-44, then frustrated Shehzad with some tidy swing bowling, and the Pakistan opener was undone by a short delivery and offered a simple catch to short fine leg.

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