Pakistan batters demolish Sri Lanka’s hopes

Shafique and Salman pummel Sri Lanka, Pakistan eye series sweep

Opener Abdullah Shafique struck his maiden double hundred and Agha Salman smashed a rapid 132 not out as Pakistan looked poised for a 2-0 series sweep after thoroughly dominating the second Test against Sri Lanka on Wednesday.

Having bundled out Sri Lanka for 166, Pakistan racked up 563-5 on day three and the lead of 397 makes it unlikely they would need to bat again at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground.

Salman’s 148-ball blitz included 15 fours and a six.

Mohammad Rizwan was batting on 37 at the other end after replacing Sarfaraz Ahmed, who suffered concussion after being hit on the back of his helmet while trying to duck under a bouncer from Asitha Fernando.

That was the only setback for Pakistan on a day when their batters toyed with the Sri Lankan attack after resuming on 178-2.

Skipper Babar Azam (39) could not convert the start he got but Shafique took a single off Fernando to bring up his fourth Test hundred.

Shafique forged a 109-run stand with Saud Shakeel (57) as Pakistan’s lead continued to swell.

After Shakeel fell and Sarfaraz retired hurt, Shafique and Salman combined in a 124-run partnership to effectively bat Sri Lanka out of the contest.

Shafique took a single off Fernando to reach the 200-mark but soon fell to spinner Prabath Jayasuriya.

Shafique’s 201 contained 19 fours and four sixes.

Pakistan won the opening Test in Galle by four wickets.

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