Mathews stars in drawn Test

Unbeaten half-centuries by Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad helped Pakistan draw the first Test with Sri Lanka on the fifth and final day in Abu Dhabi on Saturday(January 4).

Sri Lanka made a remarkable comeback after conceding a 179-run first innings.

With Pakistan firmly in control of the match at the end of third day, and Sri Lanka finishing on 186 for 4, leading by just seven runs, Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lanka captain, hit his career-best 157 not out, his second Test ton, to bail Sri Lanka out of a tricky situation.

Sri Lanka lost just one wicket after adding 234 runs to its overnight score, leading Pakistan by 241 runs, on the fourth day.

Chasing an improbable target of 302, Pakistan lost Khurram Manzoor, the opening batsman, cheaply for eight in the seventh over of the innings, caught behind off Suranga Lakmal.

Hafeez (80) and Shehzad then made sure no further damage was done as the duo carried on to add 94 runs for the second wicket. Soon after tea, Rangana Herath, the left-arm spinner, trapped Shehzad lbw for 55.

Younis Khan (13), who scored a century in the first innings, then accompanied Hafeez till the end of day’s play as Pakistan finished on 158 for 2 in 52 overs.

Earlier, resuming the day on 420 for 5, Prasanna Jayawardene (63*) accompanied Mathews in an unbeaten 156-run stand, as Sri Lanka declared on 480 for 5. Junaid Khan returned figures of 3 for 93, while Bilawal Bhatti ended with 2 for 146. Saeed Ajaml returned wicket less conceding 115 runs in 49 overs – only the fifth time in his 31 Test career.

The second Test of the three match test series will be played in Dubai from January 8.

(Courtesy: International Cricket Council)