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Rain aids Pakistan fight for survival

Written by: Staff
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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Mar 30 (Reuters) Wet weather interrupted play and boosted Pakistan's chances of saving the first test against Sri Lanka on the final morning.

Started the day on 89 for two needing an improbable 369 for victory, Pakistan survived the first session without loss and reached lunch on 140 for two.

The tourists' cause was helped by an 81-minute interruption due to bad light and drizzle.

Opener Shoaib Malik led Pakistan's resistance with a four-hour unbeaten 49 from 171 balls with support from middle order batsman Faisal Iqbal (36 not out).

The third wicket pair survived without major alarm on a pitch that has grown increasing placid during the course of the match.

Even star off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan was handled with relative ease as 51 runs were scored in the 19-over session.

Sri Lanka had declared just before tea on day four after piling up 448 for five in their second innings after Kumar Sangakkara scored a fine 185.

The second and final test starts in Kandy on Monday.

REUTERS PM DS1230

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