GALLE: Asad Shafiq’s seventh Test hundred and his second against Sri Lanka put Pakistan ahead on the first innings in the first Test played at the Galle International Stadium.
Shafiq took on the main role after the departure of Sarfraz Ahmed for 96, and ensured that Pakistan reached a respectable total after resuming the day on a shaky 118-5.
With good support from the tail Shafiq moved to his hundred with a straight driven four off Dilruwan Perera and at the tea break was unbeaten on 115 with Pakistan on 390 for eight wickets – a handy lead of 90.
Shafiq solid in defence made his runs with a few boundaries – five off 226 balls.
Wahab Riaz (14) helped Shafiq in a stand of 38 and after Yasir Shah (23) had added a further 29 runs for the eighth wicket, Zulfiqar Babar upset the Lankan bowlers with a maiden Test fifty.
The left-arm spinner reached the figure with a six off Dilruwan Perera shortly before tea. At the interval he was undefeated on 51 scored off 52 balls with six fours and two sixes.
Babar became the first Pakistani no 10 batsman to score a Test half-century since Wasim Akram in 2000.
Babar and Shafiq have so far added 88 for the ninth wicket off 98 balls.
Scores: Sri Lanka 300;
Pakistan 118-5 contd 390-8 at tea (Asad Shafiq 115 not out, Sarfraz Ahmed 96, Zulfiqar Babar 51 not out, Dhammika Prasad 3/85, Nuwan Pradeep 2/70, Dilruwan Perera 2/103)