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Mathews and Perera frustrate Pakistan

Nineties from captain Angelo Mathews and Test debutant Dilruwan Perera patiently put Sri Lanka a step closer to series victory over Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.

The seventh-wicket pair slowly shared 112 at Sharjah in a substantial score of 428 for nine declared that spanned a mammoth 172 overs, the most Pakistan have bowled in an innings since 2004.

Mathews then declared to leave the designated hosts an unenviable six overs to bat, which Khurram Manzoor and Ahmed Shehzad negotiated to close day two on 19 for none.

Mathews, whose tourists lead 1-0 amid this third and final game and are chasing their first away series win over a major Test nation since 1999-2000, started the day on 24 alongside Prasanna Jayawardene.

The skipper survived Abdur Rehman’s lbw review on 34 but Jayawardene soon fell on the hook to Mohammad Talha for 35, halting a stand of 73.

The alliance between Mathews and Perera, who was picked mainly for his off-spin, lasted until a few overs before tea. It ended when Mathews, on 91, sliced to deep point off Junaid Khan, who had Rangana Herath lbw first ball despite a review.

Shaminda Eranga survived the hat-trick delivery and Perera edged Junaid for four between the slips and gully to raise his fifty before the interval. The debutant put on 72 with Eranga but perished in the same manner as Jayawardene, five short of a ton, just ahead of the declaration.