Sharjah: Pakistan gave yet another demonstration of how far they have progressed from their collapse-prone avatar of recent years by posting a solid 282 for 6 on the third day of the final Test in Sharjah. The three middle-order batsmen instrumental in providing steel to the Pakistan line-up over the past year all made substantial contributions on a track which was truer than expected. Younis Khan made the biggest impact by going on to his 18th Test century, Azhar Ali collected his sixth 50-plus score in five Tests and Misbah-ul-Haq helped himself to another laboriously crafted half-century.
With the Pakistan openers dismissed on Friday, when the pitch was providing plenty of turn and bounce, Sri Lanka would have expected their bowlers to be a handful in the morning. Instead, they had the bad news that fast bowler Dhammika Prasad wouldn't bowl in the match due to a thigh strain. The other medium-pacers Chanaka Welegedara and Kosala Kulasekara bowled at a gentle pace, and got some movement to induce a few plays-and-misses from the batsmen but weren't able to prise out a wicket.