Host ends second day of second Test on 304/9 following half-centuries from Kaushal Silva and Angelo Mathews
Well disciplined bowling from Pakistan meant Sri Lanka undid much of the good work from the first day of the second Test at the P Sara Oval in Colombo, ending Day 2 on 304 for 9.
Kaushal Silva was the highest scorer, his 80 and Angelo Mathews’s 77 standing out as Sri Lanka went from 191 for 3 to 231 for 6 by tea, and then lost three more wickets by close of play on Friday (June 26).
At stumps, Sri Lanka was only 166 ahead of Pakistan’s first-innings total of 138.
Pakistan, which was without the services of Wahab Riaz – ruled out of the series with a fractured knuckle in his left hand – could have had to pay a big price for dropping a sitter offered by Mathews when he was on 32 – Yasir fluffed the chance at mid-on off Zulfiqar Babar.
But a rush of wickets following the incident made up for the morning session in which Sri Lanka pressed forward despite losing Kumar Sangakkara (34) and Lahiru Thirimanne (7) early.
Silva, a picture of composure and solidity during his 218-ball stay at the crease, was the first to go after lunch when a terrible mix-up with Mathews left him stranded mid-pitch. In the very next over, Dinesh Chandimal skipped down the pitch, only to be deceived by Yasir Shah’s ripping legbreak as the ball sneaked through bat and pad to crash into the stumps.
Kithuruwan Vithanage then attempted to play an audacious reverse sweep but the ball spun from outside leg to hit timber as Sri Lanka lost three wickets in the space of 11 runs.
Combining aggression with a degree of caution, Mathews went about repairing the innings by taking calculated risks, particularly against the spinners.
Along the way, Mathews brought out the limited-overs batsman in him by pulling out reverse sweeps and some sweetly timed lofted hits to help build Sri Lanka’s lead even as a resurgent Pakistan, led by Yasir, chipped away.
Mohammad Hafeez struck after tea to break the seventh-wicket partnership of 73 between the two, trapping Dhammika Prasad lbw. Yasir capitalised to bag two more quick wickets, first sending Mathews back leg before and then removing Tharindu Kaushal caught by Misbah-ul-Haq at mid-off. This gave Yasir, who ended the day with figures of 5 for 95, his third five-wicket haul in Tests.
Rain arrived during the 87th over of the day, forcing the officials to call for an early end to proceedings.
To see the full scorecard of the match, please click here.