By Sa’adi Thawfeeq
Pakistan collapsed dramatically in the afternoon session of the first day either side of a short sharp shower to 22-year-old off-spinner Tharindu Kaushal who spun them out for a disappointing 138 in the first Test against Sri Lanka at the P Sara Oval.
Tea was taken at the end of the Pakistan innings with Kaushal finishing with excellent figures of five for 42 off 10.5 overs in an unchanged spell broken only by the 57 minute break for rain.
Playing in only his second Test Kaushal bemused the Pakistan batting with a mixture of off-breaks and doosras that had them fumbling.
The path for Kaushal’s success was paved by fast bowler Dhammika Prasad who started the collapse by removing Younis Khan for six in the first over after lunch.
Younis playing in his 100th Test failed to get his bat out of the way and gloved the ball to Dinesh Chandimal.
Kaushal then removed the obdurate Mohammad Hafeez for 42 scored in 147 minutes bowling him with ball that turned sharply, but the worst dismissal from Pakistan’s point was the dismissal of their captain Misbah-ul-Haq who was run out for seven over a misunderstanding with partner Sarfraz Ahmed.
Misbah played the ball towards extra cover and set off for a single to which Sarfraz didn’t respond. Mathews ran from slip to field the ball smartly and fire a return to Chandimal with Misbah desperately attempting to make his ground.
Misbah’s dismissal at 96 saw the last of the Pakistan front line batsmen and it was only a matter of minutes before Kaushal dismissed the remaining batters.
Sarfraz as usual tried to bat himself out of the poor situation with aggression but on this occasion the Lankan’s seemed to have done their homework on him and he eventually ended up dollying a bat-pad catch to Mathews at slip with his score on 14.
Zulfiqar Babar presented debutant Dushmantha Chameera with his maiden Test wicket when he played onto a ball which he attempted to pull.
Kaushal wrapped up the innings by having Yasir Shah caught brilliantly by a running Sangakkara at deep mid-on.
Prasad who took three of the top four wickets finished with figures of three for 43.
Scores: Pakistan 138 (Mohammad Hafeez 42, Azhar Ali 26, Dhammika Prasad 3/43, Tharindu Kaushal 5/42) v Sri Lanka.