Shafiq reaches 100 as Pakistan look to save series

Dilruwan Perera of plays a shot during the second day of the second Test cricket match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. —AFP

"It was a tough series for us, we came close in both matches", Ahmed said after being whitewashed in his first Test series as Pakistan captain since the retirement of Misbah-ul-Haq this year.

In the end, Wahab Riaz expressed hope that the classy batsman Asad Shafiq and skipper Sarfraz would guide Pakistan to a win in this Test and help level the series.

With the new ball due early on Day 5, Sri Lanka will fancy a wicket or two to get through to the Pakistan tail.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Amir has suffered an injury, and won't be able to bowl in the remaining match.

Riaz first picked up the man in form Dimuth Karunaratne and then removed debutant Samarawickrama out of the equation.He came back and picked the wicket of unsafe looking Dickwell and caught Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal plumb in front to end up with figures of 4/41.

Sri Lanka, after being dismissed for a paltry total of 96 in their second innings, set a 317-run target for Pakistan.

"After we got a lead of 220 in the first innings, we spoke to the boys and said if we can score 100 runs for three or four wickets, then they need 350, so we can put Pakistan away".

Pakistan, who were placed sixth before this series with 93 points, have lost five points to slip down one position to seventh, with 13 points being the difference between them and the eighth-ranked West Indies, according to the latest rankings announced by ICC on Tuesday. We made fifties, but we didn't convert and we missed big partnerships. Why would Pakistan want to change the method that has treated them so well on these grounds in the past 10 years?

"Test captaincy is a little hard and I've learnt a lot". We didn't play good cricket. "We will have some senior players returning and I hope we'll play better cricket there". Until this Sri Lanka side, one totally stripped bare of anything resembling household names, and one that arrived in the emirates last month with their confidence entirely shot. This is a team performance. "If they provide a positive feedback, we will send a representative to assess the situation again before making a final decision", SLC CEO Ashley de Silva told the Sunday Times. "Their attitude and disciplibne is there and that brings the spirit too". Last night it was a little hard to bowl, especially with the dew. "You could say we've played and won with two spinners here before but, at the moment, we felt our fast bowling was more experienced", he said. We all know that here in Dubai, it spins more than Abu Dhabi. Dimuth Karunaratne was adjudicated both Man of the Match as well as the Man of the Series for his 196 in the first innings and series tally of 306 runs, respectively. He added, "I don't think we faced difficulties because of the openers. For seamers I made some little adjustments, but the plan was to bat longer and longer". Didn't do much [with batting technique].

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