Sri Lanka managed to fight their way to a competitive total of 271 in their 1st innings, taking a 80 run lead over hosts Pakistan on day 2 of the 2nd Test between the sides. However, the Pakistani openers managed to survive 14 overs before the close of play, bringing the deficit down to 23.
Mohammed Abbas was the 1st man to strike on day to as he removed night-watchman Lasith Embuldeniya for 13. Angelo Mathews didn’t last long in the middle either, playing for the angle off Shaheen Shah Afridi and inside edging one to the keeper Rizwan. With Mathews gone, Sri Lanka were in a spot of bother at 80/5 when Dhananjaya de Silva and Dinesh Chandimal came together for what was Sri Lanka’s best partnership of the innings.
The pair put on 67 runs for the 6th wicket and were beginning to look more comfortable by the minute, before de Silva top edged a short one from Afridi to the man at fine-leg. The left-armer produced some extra bounce and although de Silva tried to roll his wrists over the ball, he could not control the ball and was well caught by Abbas who had to make some ground to get to the catch.
Chandimal, who made just 2 in the 1st Test match, battled against Afridi, who bowled well in spells, to go into lunch unbeaten on 42. The post lunch session was when the going got tougher for Sri Lanka, with the hosts drying up the runs to a great degree.
Afridi was the pick of the bowlers, moving the ball in and troubling the batsmen with both the short balls as well the pitched up ones. Dilruwan Perera stood strong against the barrage of bouncers from the Pakistanis after Chandimal’s dismissal for 73, taking a few blows to the body, including one on the face off the bowling of Naseem Shah.
A 36-run partnership between him and Vishwa Fernando enabled Sri Lanka to stretch the lead close to the 100-run mark, but unfortunately Afridi removed him and No. 11 Lahiru Kumara 2 deliveries later to end the Sri Lankan innings. Afridi managed his 1st 5-fer in Tests and career-best bowling figures of 5/77. Abbas played a brilliant supporting role to finish with 4/55.
In reply the Pakistani openers Shan Masood and Abid Ali started strongly, scoring at a healthy run rate to go to stumps unbeaten on 21 and 32 respectively. Sri Lanka did not have many opportunities, with one close LBW shout going Masood’s way despite the visitors’ review.