Mahela Jayawardene defied a left-hand webbing injury to notch his 32nd century and Kaushal Silva missed his by five runs as Sri Lanka gained the upper hand over Pakistan in the second Test in Dubai yesterday.
Jayawardene, who received three stitches after he dropped a catch on Wednesday, scored 106 not out and shared an invaluable 139-run partnership with Silva (95) to guide Sri Lanka to 318-4 at close on the second day.
Sri Lanka have gained an important 153-run lead over Pakistan’s first-innings score of 165 and a chance to take the lead in the three-Test series.
Jayawardene, grimacing while playing strokes, toiled his way to a remarkable knock. He hit paceman Bilawal Bhatti for his 12th boundary to reach the three-figure mark off 215 balls, raising his bat in delight before he was embraced by skipper Angelo Mathews.
Mathews, 42 not out, has so far added 91 for the unbroken fifth-wicket stand with his illustrious partner to consolidate Sri Lanka’s position.
Jayawardene, the 36-year-old former captain, has so far batted for 330 minutes for only his second century against Pakistan, and his first in 21 months since his ton against England in Colombo in April 2012.
The Jayawardene-Silva partnership ensured that Sri Lanka overcome a disappointing start to the day after they lost Kumar Sangakkara (26) and Dinesh Chandimal (12) in the space of 13 runs.
Silva, who survived a confident caught-behind appeal off paceman Rahat Ali when on 26, helped Jayawardene to score 83 runs in the second session without being separated, taking their team to 132-3 at tea.
Silva was finally dismissed LBW by Mohammad Hafeez soon after tea. He hit ten boundaries during his defiant 330-minute stay at the crease.
Silva pulled off-spinner Saeed Ajmal to the mid-wicket boundary to reach his second Test half-century and then had two fours off Ali to help Sri Lanka overhaul Pakistan’s total.
Jayawardene, who failed in both the innings of the first Test, successfully overturned an LBW decision against him when on 26.