Twin centuries from Younis Khan and Shaan Masood have put Pakistan in the driver's seat on the penultimate day of the final Test in the three-Test match series against Sri Lanka at Pallekele in Kandy.
Sri Lanka started off Day 4 on a high note, with skipper Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal leading the Lankan charge against Pakistan with a slew of fine shots around the field.
Although they looked uncomfortable during the first hour of the day against Imran Khan and Yasir Shah, they added some valuable runs.
But Dinesh Chandimal was dismissed on 67 by Khan. He went upstairs for the review as he thought the ball hit him at a high spot on the pads, but the decision went against him. Chandimal and Mathews' partnership gave Sri Lanka a ray of hope in the final Test match of the series.
Mathews went on to score his fifth Test century on Day 4 of the third Test match against Pakistan. He led from the front to establish a lead of 377 runs over the visitors.
Imran Khan was the pick of the Pakistani bowlers, taking five wickets in the second innings. He was ably assisted by Shah, Rahat Ali and Ehsan Adil.
When Pakistan came out to bat in the second innings, they were tested with the new ball. Dhammika Prasad and Suranga Lakmal bowled brilliantly and were rewarded with the wickets of Ahmed Shehzad and Azhar Ali.
It was at that moment Pakistan needed their most experienced batsman Younis Khan to stay put at the crease and guide the team, which he did.
In partnership with Shaan Masood, who was called as a replacement for Mohammad Hafeez, he brought Pakistan back into the game. Masood showed his quality and was responsible for adding 217 runs in an unbeaten partnership with Younis Khan.
Both Younis Khan and Masood scored a century each and all of a sudden, the hosts were pushed to the wall. They took a heavy toll on Tharindu Kaushal and did not allow him to settle down. Lakmal and Prasad bowled well, but they lacked support.
At stumps, Pakistan were 230 for 2.
Pakistan now need 147 runs on the final day of the Test match and if they manage to get those runs, they would not only win the match but also the series.
A golden opportunity awaits Misbah ul Haq and his team to pull off a memorable win and clinch the Test series, which they have not done in Sri Lanka for a long time now. This would add another feather to Misbah ul Haq's illustrious career as the most successful Pakistani captain.
Sri Lanka: 278 (Dimuth Karunaratne 130, Upul Tharanga 46; Rahat Ali 3 for 74, Yasir Shah 5 for 78) & 313 (Angelo Mathews 122, Dinesh Chandimal 67; Imran Khan 5 for 58, Yasir Shah 2 for 80).
Pakistan: 213 ( Azhar Ali 52, Sarfraz Ahmed 78*; Dhammika Prasad 3 for 78, Nuwan Pradeep 3 for 29, Tharindu Kaushal 3 for 37) & 230 for 2 (Shan Masood 114*, Younis Khan 101*; Dhammika Prasad 1 for 42, Suranga Lakmal 1 for 31).
Where to Watch Live:
The final day of the third Test match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan will start at 10am local time (10am IST, 5am BST, 4am GMT) with live coverage in India and Sri Lanka on Ten Cricket and Ten HD. The live streaming option will be available on Tensports.com.
Cricket fans in Pakistan can stream the match live on GeoSuperTv.
Viewers in the US can watch the match live on Willow TV and stream the game on Willow TV Online.