By Sa’adi Thawfeeq
Both Sri Lanka and Pakistan battled to take control of the second Test at the P Sara Oval on the second day with skipper Angelo Mathews leading the way with an unbeaten half-century.
Sri Lanka went to tea at 231 for six wickets with Mathews the last of the recognized batsmen on 57 not out and Dhammika Prasad on 13.
Both batsmen would have been dismissed during the session.
Pakistan missed Mathews at 32 when Yasir Shah failed to hold on to a skier at mid-on off Zulfiqar Babar. The way Mathews is shaping up it could turn out to be an expensive miss.
Prasad was lucky to survive a confident lbw appeal first ball from Yasir but the review showed he had got an inside edge.
Sri Lanka enjoyed a first innings lead of 93 having dismissed Pakistan on the first day for 138.
Leg-spinner Yasir, who was Pakistan’s match-winner in the first Test at Galle, captured the two wickets to fall to the bowlers during the afternoon session to have figures of three for 70 at the interval.
However it was not due to the bowler’s brilliance or anything of that nature that produced the two wickets but due to poor shot making.
Dinesh Chandimal (1) yorked himself coming forward and Kithuruwan Vithanage (3) was bowled attempting to reverse sweep.
The third wicket was also gifted to Pakistan when Kaushal Silva who had been playing so solidly for 335 minutes suddenly had a rush of blood and attempting a run after playing the ball to mid-on and needlessly run out when Mathews refused the single.
Pakistan was down to three frontline bowlers with Wahab Riaz ruled out of the series with a hand injury.
Scores: Pakistan 138;
Sri Lanka 231-6 at tea (Kaushal Silva 80, Angelo Mathews 57 not out, Yasir Shah 3/70)