PALLEKELE: Sri Lanka fought back to capture three Pakistani wickets for 45 runs before lunch on the second day of the third and final Test after being dismissed for 278 at the Pallekele International Stadium.
Sri Lanka’s four-pronged seam attack of Prasad, Lakmal, Pradeep and Mathews created enough pressure on the Pakistani batsmen to make them commit mistakes.
Dhammika Prasad broke through in the ninth over trapping Shan Masood lbw for 13 and Nuwan Pradeep followed by having Ahmed Shehzad caught behind off his third ball.
The batsman was caught in two minds before edging a catch to wicket-keeper Dinesh Chandimal with his score on 21.
The biggest blow for Pakistan came in the final over before lunch when the experienced Younis Khan tried to take a sharp single to short midwicket and was run out for three as he failed to beat the direct throw from Kaushal Silva.
Azhar Ali was unbeaten on six at the break but Sri Lanka had more or less won the session.
Earlier Pakistan made short work of Sri Lanka’s last two wickets which they captured for the addition of just six runs as the home side was dismissed for 278 on the second morning.
Rahat Ali made the breakthrough by trapping Tharindu Kaushal lbw for 18 after Pakistan had lost a review on a similar appeal two balls earlier.
Leg-spinner Yasir Shah ended the innings by having last man Nuwan Pradeep lbw for a duck to end up with another five-wicket haul – his third in successive Tests which took his tally in the series to 22 wickets.
He also became only the second visiting bowler after Australia’s Shane Warne to take three five-wicket hauls during a Test series in Sri Lanka.
Scores: Sri Lanka 272-8 contd 278 (Rahat Ali 3/74, Yasir Shah 5/78, Azhar Ali 2/35)
Pakistan 45-3 at lunch (Ahmed Shehzad 21).