Mahela Jayawardene scored an unbeaten 49 in his last Test innings as Sri Lanka took charge of the second and final match against Pakistan in Colombo on Saturday.
The hosts, who trailed by 12 runs on the first innings, put on a strong batting performance to move to 177-2 in their second innings by stumps on the third day at the Sinhalese Sports Club.
Jayawardene and his close friend and long-time teammate Kumar Sangakkara batted together for the last time in a Test match to put on 98 for the unbroken third wicket partnership.
Left-handed Sangakkara was unbeaten on 54, with Sri Lanka 165 runs ahead with eight wickets in hand on a wearing pitch expected to assist spinners on the last two days.
Sri Lanka, who won the first Test in Galle by seven wickets, are hoping to sweep the short series to give Jayawardene, their former captain, a winning farewell.
Upul Tharanga made 45 in an opening stand of 54 with Kaushal Silva before both batsmen were dismissed by left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman in the post-lunch session.
Earlier, Pakistan’s wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed smashed a maiden Test century and Sri Lanka’s spinner Rangana Herath became the first left-arm bowler in history to take nine wickets in an innings.
Sarfraz hit a gutsy 103 as Pakistan carried their overnight score of 244-6 to 332 before they were all out at the stroke of lunch in reply to Sri Lanka’s 320.
But Herath grabbed attention in the eventful morning session by claiming the four remaining wickets to finish with 9-127, only the second Sri Lankan after Muttiah Muralitharan to take nine wickets in an innings.
The 36-year-old Herath, who surpassed his previous best of seven for 89 against Bangladesh in Colombo last year, is currently the number one Test spinner in the official rankings.
He has claimed 255 wickets so far in 57 Tests.
Junaid goes for scan after being hit
Pakistan fast-bowler Junaid Khan went for a precautionary checkup after being hit on the head while batting by a delivery from Sri Lanka paceman Dhammika Prasad during the third day of the second Test on Saturday.
“Junaid was feeling dizzy after he came to the dressing room and we have taken him to hospital for precautionary check-up,” Pakistan team manager Moin Khan told reporters.
“He is under observation and a head scan has been taken.”
The left-arm pacer, who took five wickets in Sri Lanka’s first innings, did not take the field during Sri Lanka’s second innings as Pakistan were reduced to three frontline bowlers.
Junaid was hit on the left side of his helmet and continued to bat after receiving treatment on the field to remain unbeaten on 13.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2014.
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