End of a fine innings Sarfraz Ahmed is bowled by Dhammika Prasad for 96 on the fourth day of the first Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at the Galle International Stadium. (AFP pic by Ishara S Kodikara)

GALLE: Overnight pair Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed frustrated Sri Lanka with a defiant sixth wicket stand of 139 off 191 balls to take Pakistan to a lunch time score of 259 for six wickets on the fourth day of the first Test at the Galle International Stadium on Saturday to trail by 41 runs.

Both batsmen defied everything the Lankan bowlers threw at them on a pitch which they failed to exploit to the full as they Pakistanis had during the Lankan innings.

Sarfraz who had an excellent series with the bat last year in Sri Lanka going past the half-century mark on four occasions and averaging 88.33, missed out on a fourth Test hundred when he was dismissed for 96.

Having done all the hard work and got thus far Sarfraz who had the Lankan bowling at his mercy attempted to slog sweep a delivery from Dhammika Prasad and had his stumps disturbed. It was a disappointing end to a fighting knock that came off 86 balls with the aid of 13 fours.

Shafiq played a fine supporting role to the aggressive Sarfraz and at the break was unbeaten on 64 scored 139 balls with three fours.

Shafiq was lucky to survive a chance at 17 when he missed a ball from Dilruwan Perera and the ball rolled onto the stumps off his pads without disturbing the bails.

Wahab Riaz survived an lbw appeal off Rangana Herath before he had scored. Sri Lanka challenged the umpire’s decision and lost the review.

Scores: Sri Lanka 300;

Pakistan 118-5 contd 259-6 at lunch (Asad Shafiq 64 not out, Sarfraz Ahmed 96, Dhammika Prasad 3/59).