Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 1st Test Day 3: Azhar fights to keep Pakistan in contention

Azhar Ali Pakistan Sri Lanka cricket

Azhar Ali hit three boundaries during his unbeaten knock of 74

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Azhar Ali scored an unbeaten 74 to ensure Pakistan stayed in a competitive position going into the fourth day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi.

During his innings, Azhar surpassed 5,000 Test runs and became just the eighth Pakistani batsman to achieve the feat.

Starting off the day on 64/0, Pakistan openers Shan Masood and Sami Aslam converted their 64-run partnership into a 114-run stand, during which both batsmen brought up their fifties.

Sami Aslam fifty Pakistan Sri Lanka cricket

Sami Aslam scored his seventh Test fifty

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

However, Aslam was dismissed shortly after bringing up his half-century as he was given out lbw off the bowling of Dilruwan Perera for 51, which came off 130 balls and included four boundaries.

Aslam was not given out initially, but Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal decided to review the decision. His gamble to do so paid off as replays showed that the ball was pitching in line and going on to hit the stumps.

Masood ended up making 59 off 148 deliveries, which included six boundaries, before he was clean bowled by Rangana Herath.

Shan Masood half-century Pakistan Sri Lanka cricket

Shan Masood struck his third half-century in Test cricket

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

With Pakistan having lost two quick wickets, Azhar and Asad Shafiq came to the rescue with a 79-run partnership before Shafiq was caught by Lahiru Thirimanne at first slip off the bowling of Herath.

Azhar and Babar Azam kept the runs flowing with a 71-run stand, during which Azhar surpassed his fifty. However, in the final over of the day, disaster struck as Azam was caught behind off the bowling of Nuwan Pradeep for 28.

Even though Azam was dismissed on the fourth ball of the over, stumps was called right away.

Azhar ended up finishing on 74 off 200 balls, which included three boundaries, but Pakistan still trail by 153 runs.

Herath was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Dilruwan and Pradeep claimed one wicket each.

Pakistan ended the day on 266/4 and will continue batting on Sunday at 10:00 local time or 06:00 GMT.

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