|Paranavitana played on for 75|
|Perera is dropped by Umar Gul|
but went on to make 73
Batting a second time in a Test match reduced to four days, Pakistan needed to construct something special to both get a lead and bowl Sri Lanka out a second time. With six overs left, it was a task for tomorrow and twenty without loss would have been more than enough. It wasn't to be but not through the fault of the openers. Australian umpire Simon Taufel, so highly regarded in international cricket, delivered a clanger in the third over. Kulesekara went up for a monster shout against Taufeeq Umar, who had fifteen minutes ago finished an unexpected 100 stint behind the stumps. The ball was clearly on first and subsequent views pitching outside leg stump but Taufel raised his finger and dealt Pakistan a body blow so close to stumps. For such events, DRS has been quite rightly bought into the game but because of ICC intransigence, technology is not in use in this series. Taufeeq is left with nothing but the wrong stories to tell his grandchildren. Pakistan, to the eternal credit of the skipper Misbah-ul-haq, sent their regular number three, Azhar Ali, out to do the job he was designed to do, rather than hide in the stands and let a bowler listen to his music. It was not only refreshing but a sign Pakistan intend to play this Test right out and chase a lead on the fourth day.
Lots of cricket left and most of it will be exciting ... if only the thunderstorms stay away. That, unfortunately, looks unlikely on either of the remaining two days.