Sri Lanka collapse brings Abu Dhabi Test to life
An intriguing conclusion to the Abu Dhabi Test is in prospect after Sri Lanka collapsed to 69-4 on the penultimate day, having concededÂ a first-innings lead of three to Pakistan.
Debutant Haris Sohail compiled a valuableÂ 76 as Pakistan recovered from 340-8 to reach 422 all out in Sunday's afternoon session.
At that point, a draw looked highly likely, but the chances of a positive result increased when Sri Lanka wobbled in their second innings, losing four cheap wickets including skipper and first-innings centurion Dinesh Chandimal.
The final day will begin with Sri Lanka 66 ahead, and Kusal Mendis (16 not out) and nightwatchman Suranga Lakmal (2 not out) at the crease.
Pakistan initially came under pressure at the hands of Rangana Herath andÂ LakmalÂ after resuming on 266-4, trailing by 153.
Azhar Ali - unbeaten on 74Â overnight -Â fell 15 runs short of a hundred, caught at short midwicket offÂ Herath, while Sarfraz Ahmed made only 18 before playing on toÂ Lakmal, who then trapped Mohammad Amir lbw.
When Herath had Yasir Shah held at slip with the final ball before lunch, Pakistan were in trouble, but Sohail and Hasan Ali counter-attacked in a precious ninth-wicket stand of 50.
Hasan hitÂ three sixes before becoming Herath's fifth victim and Sohail, dropped on 51,Â was able to edge Pakistan in front as last man Mohammad Abbas (1) held firm for 34 balls. Sohail eventually fell to Nuwan Pradeep facing the third new ball.
Sri Lanka adopted a cautious approach in their second innings, crawling along at less than two runs perÂ over, but nevertheless lost wickets on a regular basis.
Dimuth Karunaratne (10) and Chandimal (7) each fell to Yasir, the former oddly opting to walk despite replays suggesting no bat or glove had been involved as Pakistan celebrated a catch from Shan Masood at short-leg.
In between those dismissals, part-timer Asad Shafiq had Lahiru Thirimanne (7)Â caught behind, having been brought on to complete an over when Hasan was injured, and Sohail rounded off his fine day by having Kaushal Silva lbw for an 87-ball 25.