Batsman Mohammad Hafeez is eager to see Pakistan convert the momentum picked up in the second Test when they lock horns with Sri Lanka in the third and final match in Pallekele, which gets underway on Sunday
The home side won the first Test in Galle, after which the second fixture ended in a rain-affected draw. Pakistan were more fruitful than their opposition in Colombo, though.
Their hefty first innings declaration was built on the back of 196 from Hafeez and 157 from Azhar Ali. Sri Lanka responded well, with Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne welcoming centuries, but their 391 all out was ultimately considerably less impressive than the tourists’ first-innings effort of 551 for six.
“We can’t win the series, but we will return home happy if we can win this match and draw the series,” said Hafeez. “The morale of the team is high after Colombo and we are ready for the challenge ahead.”
As it did in the first two matches, inclement conditions threatened to mar proceedings at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium. Skipper Misbah-ul-Hq, though, hoped the weather would prove dry enough to allow Pakistan the opportunity to square the series.
“If the weather had not intervened, we could have pushed for a result in Colombo. But everyone is encouraged by the way we played the second Test. Hopefully, we can repeat that performance in the final Test and draw the series,” concluded Misbah.
Pallekele has hosted two Tests in its short history. Sri Lanka and the West Indies endured a rain-affected draw in 2010, as was the case during Australia’s visit in 2011.