Seasoned campaigners put Pakistan on top
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Pakistan rode on centuries by Younis Khan and captain Misbah-ul-Haq to finish the second day of the first Test on a healthy 327-4 and 123-run lead against Sri Lanka on Wednesday. Khan hit 19 fours and a six in scoring an unblemished 136 off 198 balls before he was bowled off an inside edge off Shaminda Eranga (2-63). Misbah ground out an unbeaten 105 off 250 balls with 13 fours and will resume the third day with Asad Shafiq unbeaten on 12.
Misbah's and Khan's 218-run stand in 4 hours has placed Sri Lanka in a tight corner as their bowlers struggled to contain Pakistan's two most experienced batsmen. Sri Lanka twice missed dismissing Misbah on 69 when Mahela Jayawardene dropped a sitter, and on 76 they didn't go for a TV referral when fast bowler Suranga Lakmal (1-84) could have earned an lbw verdict after onfield umpire Richard Kettleborough of England turned down a strong appeal.
Sri Lanka started off well by claiming two wickets inside the first hour but took only one more wicket in the day as Khan and Misbah ensured Pakistan take a sizeable lead against Sri Lanka's 204-run first innings effort. Misbah completed his fifth Test century soon after Khan was dismissed when he drove offspinner Sachithra Senananyake to mid-on for a single.
Earlier, Sri Lanka had the wickets of Mohammad Hafeez (11) and Ahmed Shehzad (38) soon after Pakistan resumed from 46-1 overnight, but then Misbah and Khan took charge. Both batsmen guided Pakistan to 121-3 by lunch before they cut loose by scoring 130 runs in the second session with the pitch considerably easing for batting.
Khan completed his half century off 100 balls with nine fours when he hit fast bowler Suranga Lakmal for two boundaries in one over. Misbah, who finished last year as top-scorer in one-day internationals, hit identical fours and faced a similar number of deliveries to complete his 50.
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