Pakistan push Sri Lanka hard for series-levelling win

SHARJAH, January 19, 2014 (AFP) – Pakistan grabbed the prized wicket of Mahela Jayawardene to press their advantage for a series-levelling win over Sri Lanka in the third Test in Sharjah on Sunday. Earlier, Pakistan were bowled out for 341 in their first innings, 87 short of Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 428 for nine declared.

Skipper Misbah-ul Haq scored 63 to notch up his 24th Test half-century before holing out to left-arm spinner Rangana Herath who finished with 5-125.

Paceman Shaminda Eranga removed Abdul Rehman (two) and Talha (two) after Pakistan resumed on 291-6, searching for quick runs.

Eranga bettered his 4-65 against Australia in Colombo in 2011.

Misbah struck Herath for a six and then took a single to complete his fifty off 86 balls. He hit three sixes and a four before being caught at long-on.

Junaid also struck two boundaries to reduce the deficit before he too was caught in the deep off Herath as Pakistan’s innings was wrapped up before lunch. Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal removed Jayawardene for 46 near stumps on the fourth day after an exciting tussle between the bat and ball as Sri Lanka finished at 133-5.

They now lead by 220 runs with five wickets