Sri Lanka continued to maintain a vice-like grip on the Galle Test on the 3rd day despite some pertinacious defiance from Mohammad Ayub before lunch. Runs were scarce and the turn was plentiful as Pakistan just avoided the ignominy of a sixth sub-100 Test total in three years.
Pakistan had been given a taste of the challenge ahead in the first over of the day as Nuwan Kulasekara first found Younis inside-edge and then the outside-edge. The spinners kept testing the batsmen with turn and bounce, and once Younis fell to Rangana Herath in the tenth over of the day it seemed Pakistan would keel over quickly.
Mohmmad Ayub, Pakistan’s oldest debutant in since 1956, however, showed remarkable composure against the spinners, defending solidly and using the sweep regularly. He was less composed when Adnan Akmal called him for a second after paddling the ball to fine leg.
Akmal was going to the danger end, but Ayub started, hesitated and then turned back, meaning both batsmen found themselves at the same end. Akmal was livid, shouting “My call, my call, I said ‘yes’,” at Mohammad Ayub before departing in a huff. That exposed the Pakistan tail, and Sri Lanka’s spinners finished off the job at the stroke of lunch.
There had been overnight rain over the past three days, and showers are predicted over the following two as well. With eight sessions remaining, Pakistan’s miniscule chances of saving this game depends on the Sri Lankan monsoon.
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