Pakistan ends second day at 244 for 6, trailing by 76 runs with top order dismissed
Rangana Herath spun Sri Lanka into a position of strength while crossing the 250-wicket mark in Test cricket, as the home side restricted Pakistan to 244 for 6 on the second day of the second Test in Colombo on Friday (August 15).
Herath, who began the innings on 246 wickets, had taken 5 for 98 in 25 overs by stumps after Sri Lanka's first innings ended at 320. Pakistan had lost its top order to Herath, but Sarfraz Ahmed remained unbeaten on a fighting 66, with the visiting side still trailing by 76 runs.
Herath, 36, did the damage as Pakistan was reduced to 140 for 5 after tea at the Sinhalese Sports Club. The sixth-wicket pair of Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz then rebuilt with a 93-run stand that lifted Pakistan out of a precarious position, but with only the tail left, Sri Lanka was in a good position to force a lead.
Shafiq became Herath's 251st victim, bowled for 42 just before stumps.
Pakistan is chasing a series-levelling win in this second and final Test.
Herath, playing his 57th Test, is only the third Sri Lankan bowler to reach the 250-wicket mark after Muttiah Muralitharan (800), the world-record holder, and Chaminda Vaas (355).
Ahmed Shehzad, the Pakistan opener, had anchored his team's innings with 58, but his dismissal just before tea turned the tide in Sri Lanka's favour as Pakistan lost four wickets in the space of 30 runs.
Shehzad had put on 47 for the first wicket with Khurram Manzoor and 63 for the second with Azhar Ali to lift the total to 110 for 1 before the collapse on either side of tea.
Earlier, Sri Lanka's last two wickets added 59 useful runs to the overnight score of 261 for 8 before the home side was all out 45 minutes before lunch. Chanaka Welegedara, the No. 11 batsman, remained unbeaten on 27 after adding 36 for the last wicket with Herath (17).
Junaid Khan finished with 5 for 87, with all five of his career five-wicket hauls coming against Sri Lanka. Wahab Riaz picked up 3 for 88.
Herath had separated the opening pair when he had Manzoor caught behind by Niroshan Dickwella, the wicketkeeper, for 23, two deliveries before lunch.
Ali was composed while making 32 when he stepped out against Herath, miscued the shot and gave Angelo Mathews an easy catch at short midwicket. Shehzad fell soon after, edging a pull off Dilruwan Perera to be caught down the leg side by Dickwella.
Younis Khan, who hit a century in the first Test, was dismissed in the third over after tea when a defensive shot off Herath struck the batsman's left boot and lobbed to silly-point. Kaushal Silva, the fielder close to the wicket, dived for the ball and pushed the ball in the air for Dickwella to complete the catch behind the stumps.
Misbah-ul Haq, the captain, departed three overs later, edging Herath for Dickwella to hold his fourth catch in the innings, giving the bowler his 250th wicket, before he added one more in the closing stages of the day’s play.