Pakistan will be boosted by the three late strikes that put Sri Lanka firmly on the mat with the designated home side now looking to press on their advantage on the crucial Day 4 of the first Test in Abu Dhabi.
Where to Watch Live
Day 4 of the first Test match is scheduled for an 11.30 am IST start and 11pm PST start with live coverage on Sony Six and Geo Super in India and Pakistan respectively. Unfortunately, there is no official live streaming option available in India, but viewers in Pakistan can catch the action live online free HERE. To watch the match in Sri Lanka click HERE, while viewers in Africa can catch the action HERE. US viewers can live stream the match HERE.
Sri Lanka, facing a first innings deficit of 179, were doing pretty well on 146 for one, with Kaushal Silva and Kumar Sangakkara looking solid in the middle.
However, Pakistan, relentless with their attack , picked up three late wickets, including those of the set batsmen Silva (81) and Sangakkara (55), with the former falling on the last ball of Day 3. Sri Lanka ended the third day on 186 for four, for an overall lead of just seven runs, with six wickets in hand.
Pakistan's ace spinner Saeed Ajmal has not been too effective in the Test match so far, picking up two wickets in the first innings, and yet to open his account in the second. However, a Day 4 pitch is always something that tweakers look forward to and Ajmal could come to the fore on Friday to give Pakistan a small score to chase in the final innings.
Lankan spinner Sachitra Senanayake, who went wicketless in the first innings, though, does not expect spin to play a big part on Day 4 or even Day 5, even with Ajmal's well-known prowess.
"Given the way the pitch has played, I don't think there will be a big change in it, in the next two days," Senanayake said. "There is still grass, so there might not be a huge increase in turn. We had been thinking Ajmal would take a few wickets but [pace bowlers] Bilawal Bhatti and Junaid Khan are the ones who bowled well."
Senanayake insisted Sri Lanka would not play for a draw and were aiming to set a target of around 250. "We are still thinking about setting a target and winning," the mystery spinner added. "We're leading by seven, so if we can set a target of more than 250, it will be a good match."