The match was evenly poised after the Karachi Test’s second day. Sri Lanka had scored an 80-run lead for 191 in bowling Pakistan out.
But to end the day with the hosts trailing by 23 runs, Shan Masood and Abid Ali put on an unbeaten 57-run stand.
Azhar Ali and Co tightened their grip on the game on the third day and led 315 runs with the remaining eight wickets.
Masood and Abid march on
Pakistan needed to continue their good work on the third day with Masood and Abid. All openers put down their heads and lunched with the score at 175 to the home team for no loss.
At the end of the first session, Abid was on the verge of his second Test ton. To hit the milestone, he took 137 shots. Shortly after he followed suit, Masood scored off 148 balls in his century.
Just when the second session seemed to be played out by Abid and Masood, unscathed, Lahiru kumara first hit the blood.
Masood was nipped out by the speedster, who ended up in the stands with 135 off 198 with seven fours and three strikes.
Pakistan ended the session with the upper hand despite the late wicket. The hosts had 282 runs, leading by a significant 202 runs.
Azhar gets his form back
In the final session, Pakistan scored 113 runs off 35 overs. Skipper Azhar joined Abid in the center after the dismissal of Masood. We continued the good work and put on another successful 77-run stand.
Azhar didn’t have Australia’s biggest series, so he made corrections, staying unbeaten on 57 with fours. On the other side, Abid was taking the Lankan bowling on his merry way.
Nevertheless, Kumara pinned him in front of him in the91st over. The batsman went for a challenge, but the decision of the on-field umpire legitimized replays. Abid’s 174 runs off 281 balls with 21 fours and one six racked up.
The remaining 14 overs on the day were played out by Azhar and Babar Azam (22*) and ensured that Pakistan would no longer be a hiccup. To make a comeback, Lanka needs early wickets on day four.
Here is how Twitter reacted on the play of the day
— ICC (@ICC) December 21, 2019
What a start to Abid Ali’s career. First Pakistan batsman to score 100 in each of the first two Tests and just 9th in the world. Currently averaging 284.00!!! #PakvSL
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) December 21, 2019
Great fight back Pakistan !!! #pakvSL
— Dean Jones AM (@ProfDeano) December 21, 2019
— PakPassion.net (@PakPassion) December 21, 2019
Shan Masood loses his wicket just 5 minutes before the tea, Pakistan 278/1, misses country's record opening partnership by 20 runs. 278 is Pakistan's second highest opening partnership in Tests. #PAKvSL
— Faizan Lakhani (@faizanlakhani) December 21, 2019
321 – Runs by Abid Ali in his first two test matches, MOST by any Asian batsman.
Most Runs after first two test matches of career
355 Tip Foster (ENG)
350 Phillip Hughes (AUS)
337 Lawrence Rowe (WI)
321 ABID ALI* (PAK)
316 Yasir Hameed (PAK)
315 Sourav Ganguly (IND)#PAKvSL
— Israr Ahmed Hashmi (@IamIsrarHashmi) December 21, 2019
— Cricket.com (@weRcricket) December 21, 2019
— CricTracker (@Cricketracker) December 21, 2019
Performance of Abid Ali in his debut test series:
— Johns (@CricCrazyJohns) December 21, 2019
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) December 21, 2019