Sri Lanka make confident start in cricket Test
The highest successful chase so far is 418-7 by the West Indies against Australia in Antigua in 2003 © AFP
Sri Lanka began their chase of a world record target of 492 in fluent style, reaching 77-0 by tea on the fourth day of the third and final cricket Test against Pakistan on Thursday.
Openers Malinda Warnapura and Tharanga Paranavitana put on their best partnership of the series on a Sinhalese sports club wicket still good for batting despite taking slow turn.
Paranavitana was unbeaten at the break on 42 and Warnapura was on 29 with Sri Lanka still needing a further 415 runs in the remaining four sessions to create history.
No team has scored so many runs in the fourth innings to win a Test match. The highest successful chase so far is 418-7 by the West Indies against Australia in Antigua in 2003.
The most runs scored in the fourth innings to win a Test at the SSC here is 326-5 by Sri Lanka against Zimbabwe in 1998.
Sri Lanka were given a minimum of 150 overs to get the runs after Pakistan declared their second innings at 425-9 soon after lunch with former captain Shoaib Malik making 134.
Pakistan are looking for a consolation win after losing the first two Tests to suffer their first ever series defeat on Sri Lankan soil.
Pakistan added 19 runs to their overnight score of 300-5 when Kamran Akmal was snapped up in the slips by Mahela Jayawardene off Nuwan Kulasekera in the day's fourth over.
Akmal hit 74 with eight boundaries and a six during a sixth-wicket stand of 133 with Malik.
Tailender Umar Gul showed there were no hidden demons in the pitch as he helped Malik add 52 for the seventh wicket, himself contributing 22 in the partnership.
Malik fell after a six-hour vigil at the crease when he holed out in the deep off spinner Rangana Hearth, but not before Pakistan had built a 437-run lead.
The right-hander hit 13 fours and two sixes to shore up Pakistan's innings after they had collapsed to 67-4 before lunch on the third day.
Gul helped himself to his highest Test score of 46 from 50 balls, which included three sixes off Herath, before he was caught at deep square-leg attempting another big hit against the same bowler.
Herath returned with 5-157 from 46 overs, his second successive five-wicket haul in the series.
Pakistan's declaration marked the last stint at the bowling crease for veteran Sri Lankan seamer Chaminda Vaas, who retires from Test cricket after the match with 355 wickets from 111 Tests.
The 35-year-old, who was overlooked for the first two Tests, claimed just one wicket in 39 overs in his final match.
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