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Jayawardena century puts Sri Lanka on top

Former captain's 139-run stand with Kaushal Silva helps Sri Lanka end day two with a 153-run lead

Jayawardena century puts Sri Lanka on top - Cricket News
Mahela Jayawardena braved a webbing injury on his left hand to score his 32nd Test century.
Sri Lanka tightened its stranglehold on Pakistan, as it reached 318 for 4, a lead of 153, on day two of the second Test at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Thursday (January 9). Mahela Jayawardena scored a fighting century – his 32nd in Tests – as he braved a webbing injury on his left hand, while Kaushal Silva fell agonisingly short of a century of his own by five runs.
 
Jayawardena, who received three stitches after dropping a catch on Wednesday, scored an unbeaten 106 and put on 139 with Silva (95) for the fourth wicket.
 
Jayawardena struggled with his strokes, but played through the pain barrier, hitting Bilawal Bhatti for his 12th four to reach the three-figure mark in 215 balls.
 
Mathews, unbeaten on 42, had added 91 for the fifth wicket with Jayawardena by the time stumps were drawn.
 
This was the second century against Pakistan for the former Sri Lankan captain, who last registered a three-figure score 21 months ago, in April 2012 against England in Colombo.
 
Jayawardena and Silva’s stand helped Sri Lanka recover after a disappointing start to the day when it lost Kumar Sangakkara (26) and Dinesh Chandimal (12) in the space of 13 runs.
 
Resuming the day at 57 for 1, Sri Lanka was relying on the experienced Sangakkara to take it past Pakistan’s first innings total of 165. But, he fell just six overs into the day, when Rahat Ali, the left-arm pacer trapped him leg-before. Junaid Khan then had Chandimal caught at deep fine-leg off a hook shot as Pakistan was reduced to 88 for 3.
 
However, Silva and Jayawardena led Sri Lanka’s recovery, adding 83 runs in the second session to help Sri Lanka head in to tea at 215 for 3, with a lead of 50 runs. Silva pulled Saeed Ajmal to the midwicket fence to reach his second Test half-century, before scoring two fours off Ali as Sri Lanka overhauled Pakistan’s total.
 
However, the partnership was broken soon after the break when Mohammad Hafeez trapped Silva in front to put an end to his defiant 330-minute stay at the crease, which included 10 fours, as Pakistan was four down for 227.
 
Jayawardena, who had failed to make an impact in either innings of the first Test, had successfully overturned a leg-before decision against him when on 26, before going from strength to strength. 

Pakistan took the second new ball in the 81st over and the move could have proved effective, had Sarfraz Ahmed, the wicketkeeper, held on to a simple chance offered by Mathews off Ali.
 
However, the drop proved costly for Pakistan as Mathews made the most of the let-off to end the day unbeaten on 42, putting Sri Lanka in the driver’s seat.

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