Rain dampens Pakistan prospects
Pakistan’s hopes of levelling the three-Test series against Sri Lanka suffered a major blow as no play was possible after lunch on day three due to persistent rain in Colombo.
The tourists, who lost the opening match in Galle by 209 runs, finally declared their mammoth innings on 551 for six after skipper Misbah-ul-Haq struck an unbeaten 66.
Junaid Khan dismissed Tharanga Paranavitana for a duck, but Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara steadied the ship by putting on an unbroken second-wicket stand of 59 in 11 overs.
Sri Lanka took lunch on 70 for one before the heavens opened during the interval and the day’s play was finally called off at 3:35pm local time.
Mohammad Hafeez’s 196 and 157 from Azhar Ali had already put Pakistan in a commanding position, but they did not start well this morning as Asad Shafiq was run out in the second over of the day following Dilshan’s direct hit from square-leg.
Misbah struck two fours off Nuwan Pradeep and moved to his half-century soon after before Adnan Akmal departed when he tamely struck Rangana Herath to Dilshan at cover.
Abdur Rehman hammered two sixes down the ground off Herath and Suraj Randiv respectively, with Misbah finally declaring shortly afterwards.
Sri Lanka got off to a poor start in reply when Paranavitana inside-edged Junaid on to his pads to Azhar at short-leg in the fourth over.
But Dilshan did not want to be shackled and crunched successive fours off Junaid before repeating the trick in the next over, with Aizaz Cheema the unlucky bowler.
Dilshan struck nine fours in his unbeaten 46 off 54 balls and was ably supported by Sangakkara, who will resume on 22 not out tomorrow.