Pakistan first made a lavish surrender with the bat, then came hurtling back into the game with the ball, during an extraordinary 15-wicket day in Dubai. Though they ceded a 220-run first-innings lead to Sri Lanka, so total was their dominance in the last 14.3 overs of the day, that their hopes of squaring the series live for another day.
All Sri Lanka had to do when they began their second innings was to see out the new ball, with a view to scoring roughly 200 on day four in order to set up a declaration. But this being a Pakistan-Sri Lanka Test, things rarely go that smoothly for an ascendant team.
Wahab Riaz, in one of his wonderfully intense bursts, uprooted three batsmen while conceding only 10 runs, as Yasir Shah and Mohammad Abbas took one wicket apiece. Though they had seemed almost completely out of the match only one hour prior, it is Sri Lanka who will be under most strain when play begins again on day four. They have five wickets in hand still, but were only 254 runs ahead after the third day. They have lost matches from stronger positions in the past three years.
Sri Lanka 482 and 34 for 5 (Mendis 8*) lead Pakistan 262 (Azhar 59, Sohail 56, Dilruwan 3-72, Herath 3-84) by 254 runs