Malik’s ton gives Pakistan control of final Test

July 22, 2009 (AFP) – Former captain Shoaib Malik hit an unbeaten 106 on Wednesday to put Pakistan on course for a face-saving victory in the third and final Test against Sri Lanka here. Pakistan, who lost the first two Tests to hand Sri Lanka a decisive lead in the series, finally flexed their batting muscle to pile up 300-5 in their second innings by stumps on the third day.

Kamran Akmal returned unbeaten on 60 after adding 114 for the unbroken sixth wicket with Malik as Pakistan established an overall lead of 366 runs with five wickets in hand.

Sri Lanka will need to put on their best batting display in the series to record a 3-0 sweep over the remaining two days after failing to cross 300 in any of the five previous innings.

Pakistan appeared to have thrown away the advantage of a 66-run first innings lead when, starting the day at 16-1, they lost three quick wickets to slip to 67-4 before lunch.

Malik and Misbah-ul Haq led the fightback with a 119-run stand for the fifth wicket, staying together for the entire post-lunch session to frustrate the Sri Lankan bowlers on a hot and humid day.

Misbah made 65 before he gifted his wicket after tea, attemptin