After an excellent five-for (5/47) from Ramesh Mendis, batters made some handy contributions and put Sri Lanka in the driver’s seat against Pakistan at the end of a curtailed third day of the second Test at Galle International Stadium, here on Tuesday.
Sri Lanka were 176/5 in their second innings, leading Pakistan by 323 runs at stumps on Day 3 with Dimuth Karunaratne (27) and Dhananjaya de Silva (30) unbeaten on crease.
Resuming the day on 191 for 7, Yasir Shah and Hasan Ali did put up a resistance in the morning, but once the stand was broken, Sri Lanka cleaned up the Pakistan tail relatively quickly.
The pair established a 32-run stand, which was ended by Prabath Jayasuriya, who bowled Ali for 21. Nauman Ali was the next to walk, getting stumped off the bowling of Ramesh Mendis for 1. Mendis then got his fifth wicket, trapping Yasir for 26, as Pakistan’s innings ended on 231, with the hosts taking a 147-run lead.
In reply, a new opening pair of Oshada Fernando and wicketkeeper-batter Niroshan Dickwella walked out to the middle for Sri Lanka as skipper Dimuth Karunaratne was suffering from back spasms.
Dickwella played a couple of cracking shots to get going, but could not stay in for the long haul. The opening stand between the pair only lasted for 27 runs, with Dickewella being dismissed on 15 by a beauty from Naseem Shah. Fernando was the next one to depart, with Yasir Shah striking off his very first delivery, trapping him in front for 19.
A similar story to the first innings was again playing out, as all the Sri Lankan batters got starts, but failed to convert it into a substantial score. Kusal Mendis (15), Angelo Mathews (35), and Dinesh Chandimal (21), all failed to punish the Pakistan bowlers.
For the visitors though, their bowlers were bowling with great discipline that the hosts were not running away with the scoring. However, a partnership finally took shape for Sri Lanka, as their lead crossed the 300-run mark.
Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne walked out to bat at No.6 and was joined by Dhananjaya de Silva. The pair embarked on a solid unbeaten 59-run stand, which helped their target of fattening up the lead. Karunaratne and de Silva were batting when bad light intervened to lead to an early end to the contest on Day 3.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 378 (Dinesh Chandimal 80, Niroshan Dickwella 51; Naseem Shah 3-58, Yasir Shah 3-83) & 176/5 (Angelo Mathews 35, Dhananjaya de Silva 30 not out; Naseem Shah 2-29) lead Pakistan 231 (Agha Salman 62, Imam ul Haq 32; Ramesh Mendis 5-47, Prabath jayasuriya 3-80) by 323 runs