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Jayasuriya devastates Pakistan’s initial innings response.

In a high-octane second session on the second day, Sri Lanka seized control of the inaugural Test in Galle after Prabath Jayasuriya took three crucial wickets. In response to the hosts’ 312, Pakistan fell to 132/5 at Tea despite sustaining a very healthy scoring rate of 4.71.

Jayasuriya was Sri Lanka’s outstanding performer on a pitch that didn’t necessarily offer much turn but still rewarded his subtle variations in angle and trajectory. Before the left-arm spinner was brought into play, Pakistan had already created a small amount of difficulty for themselves. After surpassing 300 in the first inning, the home team came out firing on all cylinders. Vishwa Fernando delivered a lethal inswinging yorker to Abdullah Shafiq, but the opener was spared after a DRS review detected a slight inside edge on his leg.

In contrast, Fernando’s opening partner Kasun Rajitha struck the first strike when he bowled Imam-ul-Haq with a wide delivery to point. The early dismissal brought the prolific Shan Masood to the crease, and the left-handed batsman proceeded to score 22 runs by hitting four fours off the first thirteen deliveries he faced.

Spin was introduced as early as the ninth over, and Jayasuriya struck with his eighth delivery when he induced Shafique to push at a delivery on off-stump and Dhananjaya de Silva captured him at slip. The other spinner, Ramesh Mendis, required even less time to reach the scoreboard after a bizarre sequence of events in his first over saw him hit for a four and a six by Masood before being pinned on the backfoot by a flatter delivery that straightened slightly.

Soon after Masood was dismissed for a quickfire 39 off 30 balls, Pakistan were dealt a second body blow when Jayasuriya had Azam prodding tentatively at a length delivery, only for the ball to bite the inside edge and balloon for a straightforward catch. As he attempted to sweep a full Jayasuriya delivery, but instead wore it on his pads and was dismissed LBW, Sarfaraz Ahmed succumbed attempting to maintain Pakistan’s scoring rate.

Saud Shakeel (22*) and Agha Salman (19*) prevented Pakistan from losing any more wickets and reduced the visitors’ deficit to 180 runs.

Dhananjaya de Silva completed his tenth Test match century earlier in the day, and the final four Sri Lankan wickets added 70 runs, allowing the hosts to surpass the psychological 300-run mark. Each of Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Abrar Ahmed took three wickets.

Brief scores:Pakistan 132/5 (Shan Masood 39; Prabath Jayasuriya 3-46) trail Sri Lanka 312 (Dhananjaya de Silva 122, Angelo Mathews 64; Shaheen Afridi 3-86, Abrar Ahmed 3-68) by 180 runs.


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