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Pakistan targets series win in Sri Lanka

Younis Khan joins 100-Test club as home side looks to make amends after conceding a 1-0 lead

Pakistan targets series win in Sri Lanka - Cricket News
Pakistan will hope to carry the momentum after the win in the first Test.

As Pakistan looks to seal a first Test series win in Sri Lanka for nine years when the second game begins at the P Sara Oval in Colombo on Thursday (June 25), there'll be another landmark to celebrate - Younis Khan's 100th Test. 

That Sri Lanka should be the setting for the occasion is fitting as Younis made his ODI debut against it in Karachi on February 2000 and made his Test debut 13 days against the same opponents in Rawalpindi where he scored 107 in the second innings. Younis is currently third on the list of highest run-scorers for Pakistan in Tests with 8594 runs -- 29 fifties and 29 hundreds -- just behind Javed Miandad (8832) and Inzamam-ul-Haq (8829). 

Misbah-ul-Haq's men are riding high after a ten-wicket victory in the opening Test in Galle on Sunday. Following a 1-0 success in 2006, Pakistan has lost its last three series in Sri Lanka, but are in with a chance this time.

The Oval pitch has produced a winner in eight successive Tests since 2005, and hasn't been a happy hunting ground for the home side. Sri Lanka lost its last three games at the ground, losing to India in 2010 and being defeated by both England and New Zealand in 2012.

Pakistan, who lost by seven wickets when it had played at the Oval in 2009, will hope to carry the momentum after the win in the first Test. 

Despite the first four session being washed out, Pakistan bowled out Sri Lanka for 300 after electing to field first. The situation looked bleak when Pakistan was 96 for 5, but Sarfraz Ahmed and Asad Shafiq launched an incredible fightback.

The duo added 139 runs for the sixth wicket, effectively turn the tables on Sri Lanka with Shafiq making 131 and Sarfraz 96, as Pakistan secured a 117-run lead.

Yasir Shah then starred in the second innings with figures of 7 for 76 -- the best by a legspinner on Sri Lankan soil -- to bowl out the home side for 206 and set up a remarkable win.

When the two teams last met in Sri Lanka in 2014, Rangana Herath picked up 23 wickets in two Tests to steer the home side to a 2-0 win. This time, the left-arm spinner only managed to grab a solitary wicket in Galle.

And whereas Sri Lanka's spinners only accounted for five wickets in the first Test, Pakistan's spinners grabbed 13 wickets between them in.

However, Pakistan may play Mohammad Hafeez as only a batsman after his bowling action was reported by umpires for a second time in seven months. Hafeez will be tested in a fortnight, but he is allowed to bowl till the test results are declared. If his action is found illegal after testing, Hafeez will not be allowed to bowl for a year.

The third and final Test starts in Pallekele on July 3. It will be followed by five One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20 Internationals.

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