Sangakkara, Jayawardene deny Pakistan win

ABU DHABI, (Reuters) – Kumar Sangakkara compiled his eighth double hundred in tests and with able support from Prasanna Jayawardene salvaged a draw for Sri Lanka on the final day of the opening test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

Sri Lanka survived some nervous moments at the closing stages of their second innings before being all out for 483 to set Pakistan a victory target of 170 from 21 overs.

Pakistan decided against the chase and reached 21 for one, with the loss of double centurion in first innings, Taufeeq Umar, when stumps were drawn.

Sangakkara (211) and Jayawardene (120), both unbeaten overnight, batted resolutely to add 201 for the sixth-wicket as Pakistan were left to rue Friday’s dropped chances.

Stylish left-hander Sangakkara, who was dropped on 56 by Younis Khan off Mohammad Hafeez, got past the 200-run mark with a glance to the fine-leg boundary.

The former Sri Lanka captain, who also survived a run-out chance on 190, hit 18 boundaries during his 431-ball knock, before he fell lbw in the last over before tea to give part-time legspinner Azhar Ali his first test wicket.

Pakistan’s last hopes of forcing a victory after the mammoth partnership between Sangakkara and Jayawardene ended when an easy catch from Rangana Herath (23 not out) off Junaid Khan was dropped by Umar Gul at mid-off.

Jayawardene, who also received a life on Friday when substitute fielder Wahab Riaz put down an easy catch off Gul, completed his fourth test hundred with a lofted drive over spinner Saeed Ajmal’s head.

The right-handed wicketkeeper-batsman fell to the third new ball of the innings when he edged paceman Aizaz Cheema behind the stumps. Gul wiped off the Sri Lankan tailenders, finishing with four for 64.

The Pakistan pacemen managed to extract a bit of reverse swing with the old ball in dry conditions at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium and troubled the batsmen on a number of occasions but failed to get the crucial wickets.

Pakistan are playing “home” tests in the Gulf region because of security fears in their own country. The match is the first in a three-test series.

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