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Predictable stalemate in Colombo

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Sri Lanka and Pakistan shared a draw in the rain-affected second Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo, with a victory target of 261 proving of little interest to the hosts on the final day.

Pakistan had set their opponents the task of reaching the target in 37 overs, declaring their second innings on 100 for two, but Sri Lanka were on 86 for two when the captains shook hands.

The stalemate left the home team 1-0 up ahead of the third and final Test at Pallekele, which starts on Sunday. Victory there will see the tourists retain the trophy they won in the United Arab Emirates last year.

There had been faint hopes that Pakistan might triumph this morning as Sri Lanka needed 74 more runs to avoid the follow-on with just five wickets in hand, but Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews steered their side to 391 all out.

Despite Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan both registering centuries yesterday, Pakistan took four quick wickets to raise hopes of making the hosts, still 273 runs adrift overnight, follow on.

Younus Khan, Kumar Sangakkara & Misbah-ul-Haq

Kumar Sangakkara, centre, who hit 192 in the first innings, secures a comfortable draw against Pakistan at the Sinhalese Sports Club

But Sangakkara and Mathews put on 92 for the sixth wicket before the latter feathered Junaid Khan behind to depart for 47, which was the start of a sequence that saw Sri Lanka lose their last five wickets for 21 runs. Junaid took two of those for figures of 5-73 and Abdur Rehman three for 4-78.

Sangakkara's wicket came in among the collapse as he fell for 192 after coming down the pitch and flicking Rehman to Taufeeq Umar at square-leg. That dismissal came after he also missed out on a double century in the last Test in Galle when he was left stranded on 199 not out.

With a first-innings lead of 160, Pakistan came firing out of the traps in their second innings as they sought to build a quick score in order to put the pressure on Sri Lanka.

Mohammad Hafeez and Taufeeq put on a fifty partnership for the opening wicket before the latter lobbed to Dilshan at square-leg off Suraj Randiv.

He then accounted for Rehman, who had been sent up the order, for a quick 36 off 22 balls including three fours and three sixes.

The tourists went for tea on 99 for two and curiously added just one more run before opting to declare, with opener Taufeeq unbeaten on 42, and set Sri Lanka their highly unlikely victory target.

The chase began at a steady pace with openers Dilshan and Tharanga Paranavitana rattling off 48 runs in 11 overs.

But Dilshan was trapped lbw by Saeed Ajmal for 28, and Paranavitana fell the same way to Rehman for 32 five overs later to slow the charge.

Sangakkara added an unbeaten 24 before the expected draw was confirmed.