Cricket: Misbah leads Pakistan’s resistance to foil Sri Lanka

DUBAI, January 11, 2014 (AFP) – Skipper Misbah-ul Haq led Pakistan’s resistance with a gritty 97 to thwart Sri Lanka’s victory bids on the fourth day of the second Test in Dubai on Saturday. Misbah missed his sixth Test hundred by a mere three runs but a career best 70 not out by Sarfraz Ahmed and a defiant 32 by Bilawal Bhatti kept Pakistan’s fight to take them to 330-7 at close on a cloudy day.

When bad light and drizzle ended play 15 overs before schedule, Saeed Ajmal was on seven and Pakistan were leading by 107 runs with a full day’s play remaining.

Sarfraz added an invaluable 67 runs for the seventh wicket with Bhatti to frustrate the Sri Lankan bowlers who bowled with discipline and patience on a pitch which had little response for bowlers.

Sri Lanka will look for an early wrap up of Pakistan’s second innings to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series after the first Test ended in a draw in Abu Dhbai last week.

The third and final Test will be played in Sharjah from Thursday.

When left-arm spinner Rangana Herath spun one across Misbah’s bat to hit the off stump just 20 minutes before tea it looked as if the match would be over soon but Sarfraz and Bhatti kep