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Silva, Prasad keep Sri Lanka on top

A top-order wobble leaves Pakistan at 118 for 5 on day three, after opener's century guides home side to 300

Silva, Prasad keep Sri Lanka on top - Cricket News
Dhammika Prasad led the fight back for Sri Lanka, grabbing 2 for 24.
Rain offered Pakistan some respite at the end of the third day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle on Friday (June 19), but the visiting side was still in a spot of bother at 118 for 5, trailing by 182 runs. The umpires called off play eight overs early, with the match to resume on Saturday at 9.45 am local time.
 
After Sri Lanka was bowled out for 300, opener Kaushal Silva's 125 the cornerstone of the innings, Dhammika Prasad led the fight back for the home side, grabbing 2 for 24.
 
Mohammad Hafeez fell off the last ball of the first over after surviving an lbw appeal off the previous delivery. Prasad pitched the next ball up, luring Hafeez into a drive that went straight to third slip. Ahmed Shehzad was to follow soon after in the third over as Prasad got one to duck back in and trap the batsman in front.
 
Rangana Herath’s left-arm spin was introduced as early as the sixth over and he struck paydirt as Azhar Ali was trapped plumb in front, playing all round a ball that hastened off the surface.
 
Younis Khan (47) brought back some semblance of stability alongside Misbah-ul-Haq (20). Both Younis and Misbah had countered the spin well initially, but Younis was surprised by a tossed up delivery from Dilruwan Perera which beat his bat and hit the top of leg stump.
 


Kumar Sangakkara, who was fielding at first slip, then took an incredible catch diving to his left as Misbah edged one after driving away from the body off Nuwan Pradeep.
 
At close, Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed were unbeaten on 14 and 15 respectively, with Pakistan still not clear of the revised follow-on mark of 151.
 
Sri Lanka started the day on 178 for 3 and Angelo Mathews decided to counter the threat of Yasir Shah by being the aggressor and carting him over long-on in the second over.
 
But the Sri Lankan skipper’s positivity was cut short by Wahab Riaz, who got the ball to swing back in from round the stumps and go through the batsman’s defences off the inside edge. Mathews could only add nine to his overnight score and fell for 19.
 
Dinesh Chandimal had a difficult initiation against Shah and survived a review for caught behind but the introduction of Zulfiqar Babar, the left-arm spinner, signalled a turnaround in his fortunes. Chandimal looked like getting into his own groove with a couple of boundaries off Babar but the bowler had the last laugh, an arm ball crashing on to the top of middle stump. Chandimal made 23.
 
With wickets falling at the other end, Silva stood tall, knocking the ball around even if he was scoreless for long periods. Kithuruwan Vithanage quickly got into his stride with a couple of boundaries off Junaid Khan, though he was also dropped at second slip by Younis.
 
Silva meanwhile worked his way to his hundred, caressing Babar through the covers. Vithanage, however, couldn’t make most of the lifeline given to him and popped one straight back to Hafeez to reduce Sri Lanka to 262 for 6.
 
Post lunch, Pakistan quickly mopped up the tail. Shah had Perera caught behind with a sharp legbreak while Prasad was trapped in front of the wicket by a Babar delivery that straightened from a good length. Silva’s resistance finally ended as the ball hit the back of his bat off an attempted sweep against Babar to lob to the wicketkeeper.
 
Herath and Pradeep resisted a little while longer before the latter holed out to give Shah his second wicket.

To see the full scorecard, please click here.
 

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