Sri Lanka’s bowlers ripped through Pakistan’s top order in dramatic fashion to leave the tourists struggling on the scheduled third day of the first Test in Galle yesterday.
After opener Kaushal Silva hit 125 to lift Sri Lanka to 300 in their first innings, Pakistan collapsed to 35-3 in reply before a partial recovery saw them to 118-5 by stumps.
Asad Shafiq was unbeaten on 14 and Sarfraz Ahmed was on 15 when rain forced play to end early with the tourists trailing by 182 runs.
Seamer Dhammika Prasad removed both openers by the third over, paving the way for the bowlers to take control of the innings on what remained an easy-paced pitch at the Galle International Stadium.
Prasad had Mohammad Hafeez caught at third slip off his sixth delivery and then trapped Ahmed Shehzad LBW in his next over to reduce Pakistan to 11-2.
It became 35-3 when seasoned left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, brought in to the attack in the sixth over, had Azhar Ali LBW in his third over.
Veterans Younis Khan (47) and skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (20) attempted to rebuild with a 51-run stand for the fourth wicket before both were dismissed in the space of 10 runs in the last session.
Younis was bowled as he stepped out to drive off-spinner Dilruwan Perera, while Misbah fell to a brilliant one-handed diving catch at first slip by 37-year-old Kumar Sangakkara off Nuwan Pradeep.
Silva’s painstaking effort with the bat was marked by solid defense even as wickets tumbled regularly at the other end.
The diminutive right-hander lit up the rain-hit Test with a stubborn 125, his second Test century after making 139 against Bangladesh in Dhaka in January last year.
Silva, however, failed to carry his bat through the innings when he was ninth out from the 300th delivery he faced, caught behind off left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar.
Bad weather washed out the entire first day of play.
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