KANDY: Sri Lanka's fourth wicket pair of Tharanga Paranavitana and Thilan Samaraweera shared an unbroken 98-run stand to thwart Pakistan in the third morning of the third and final test at the Pallekele Stadium on Tuesday.
Paranavitana was unbeaten on 52 and Samaraweera on 45 after weathering the Pakistan pace attack of Umar Gul, Junaid Khan and Mohammad Sami to take the hosts to 142 for three wickets.
Sri Lanka, who lead the three-match series 1-0, are now 84 runs behind Pakistan who were 226 all out in their first innings.
After rained had washed out the entire second day's play, the match resumed under bright sunshine with Sri Lanka on 44-3.
The two overnight batsmen overcame a tough first hour where they were thoroughly tested by the Pakistani seam bowlers.
Both Paranavitana and Samaraweera played some positive cricket on a surface which seemed to have settled down despite being covered for an entire day due to rain.
The ball hardly swung, compared to the first day when 13 wickets tumbled, and Pakistan bowlers could not separate the pair.
Although there were a few shouts for lbw and some close calls when the batsmen played and missed, both Paranavitana and Samaraweera were prepared to wait for the loose balls to score their runs.
Paranavitana played two risky cut shots over the slips before bringing up his half-century off 104 balls with six fours.
Samaraweera, whose highest score in the series is 15, battled it out in the middle to hit six fours in his 99-ball innings. AGENCIES