It hurts if you don’t have enough match practice; especially n test matches. You lose the sense of timing. Though one has to stand and applaud Taufeeq Umar’s grittiness, one wonders if his progress was too slow for comfort.
Starting on 109 with Azhar at 60, he lost the latter soon enough, and then fell back into a shell. He was helped by an equally patient innings by experienced Younis Khan. Their 72 runs came off 33 overs, irritating the pedestrian Sri Lankan bowlers beyond redemption. Younis’s dismissal would surely have come as good news to Pakistan fans, a point well proved by Misbah’s urgency. He made almost a run-a-ball 46 and made batting look easy. Taufeeq meanwhile was grafting for a Herculean effort in tremendous heat.
Misbah fell to Herath, Shafiq came and surprisingly went into a cocoon when quick ruins were needed. Resultantly, Pakistan moved on at oxcart’s pace until, this time, Taufeeq changed gears. His last few runs came at a brisk pace before he was run out for a massive 237. It is amazing to observe that his score was 40 more than Sri Lanka’s cumulative total. Pakistan declared at 511 with a 314-run lead.
None of the Sri Lankan bowlers were impressive, though their bowling figures seemed respectable thanks to Pakistan’s slowness. Herath was the best of the lot taking two wickets while Welegedera took 2.
Sri Lanka got a jolt of a decision first up when Paranavitana was wrongly adjudged leg before in the initial ball itself. Thereafter, Thirimanne and Sangakkara played some enterprising shots ad scored at over 4 runs an over to end up the day at 47 for 1.
Three days are gone, and if Sri Lanka shows either rearguard action or attacking display, Pakistan may be tempted to regret their lack of aggression if the match ends in a draw.