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Dimuth Karunaratne sweeps Yasir Shah for runs on the leg side on the opening day of the third and final Test against Pakistan at the Pallekele International Stadium. Karunaratne continued to hold up one end despite the fall of wickets at the other. AFP pic by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi

PALLEKELE: Leg-spinner Yasir Shah struck deeply into the Sri Lanka batting ranks in the afternoon session to capture three wickets for 43 runs as Pakistan shifted the balance on the opening day of the third and final Test in their favour at the Pallekele International Stadium.

From a strong position of 106 for one Sri Lanka slumped to 137-4 as Sri Lanka to hand over the advantage to Pakistan due to some loose shots by the batsmen.

At tea Dimuth Karunaratne was batting on 70 and Jehan Mubarak on nine with Sri Lanka on 153-4.

Both captain Angelo Mathews and vice-captain Lahiru Thirimanne were out attempting to clear the field when the situation did not demand such strokes.

Both catches ended in the hands of substitute fielder Babar Azam. Thirimanne was out for 11 and Mathews for three.

Upul Tharanga was the first dismissal in the afternoon session when Yasir beat him in flight and the resulting edge that came off the wicket-keeper was held by Younis Khan at slip.

Tharanga made 46 off 92 balls with six fours and shared a partnership of 91 with Karunaratne.

The dismissal of Thirimanne made Yasir Pakistan’s leading wicket-taker in a three-match series against Sri Lanka surpassing Saeed Ajmal’s tally of 18 established in 2011 in UAE.

Yasir’s tally for the series at the tea break stood at 20 wickets.

Karunaratne held up one end reaching his seventh Test fifty off 110 balls with six fours but overall Sri Lanka’s run rate also dropped with the fall of wickets scoring only 68 runs off 27 overs.

Scores: Sri Lanka 153-4 at tea (Dimuth Karunaratne 70 not out, Upul Tharanga 46, Yasir Shah 3/43) v Pakistan.