Shafique hits double ton, Salman century, as Pakistan command day 3 against Sri Lanka

Abdullah Shafique scored his first-ever double century, while Salman Ali Agha hit his second ton, putting Pakistan in a commanding position on day 3 of the second Test against Sri Lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground.

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With Saud Shakeel’s blistering half-century, Pakistan scored a mammoth 563/5 in 132 overs, establishing a massive 397-run lead over the hosts by stumps. Salman and Mohammad Rizwan, who replaced the injured Sarfaraz Ahmed as a concussion substitute, remained unbeaten on 132 and 37 respectively.

After resuming from an overnight score of 178/2, Pakistan lost Babar Azam for 39 when he was trapped lbw by Prabath Jayasuriya in the 48th over. Shakeel then joined Abdullah, and they contributed 109 runs for the fourth wicket. During Shakeel’s innings, he became the only player in the world to achieve six half-centuries in seven Test matches along with two centuries.

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Following Shakeel’s dismissal by Asitha Fernando in the 81st over, Sarfaraz Ahmed suffered a head injury from a bouncer and retired hurt for 14 off 22 deliveries. Mohammad Rizwan replaced him as the concussion substitute. Abdullah’s innings was characterized by controlled aggression and intense focus, keeping the Sri Lankan bowlers at bay for most of the day. He reached his double century with a pulled single to the fine leg off Fernando.

However, attempting to increase the scoring rate, Abdullah was caught at deep mid-off against Jayasuriya in the 114th over, ending his career-best Test performance and a 124-run partnership with Salman. Salman and Rizwan then teamed up and added an unbeaten 95 runs for the sixth wicket.

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Salman’s unbeaten 132 came off 148 balls, featuring 15 fours and one six. Meanwhile, Rizwan remained not out on 37 from 61 balls, hitting one four and a six. Pakistan took complete control of the day, leaving them in a strong position to win the match.

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