Sri Lankan off spinner Tharindu Kaushal claimed 5 for 42 while Dhammika Prasad picked up three wickets as the hosts bowled out Pakistan for 138 in merely 42.5 overs as Lanka took early control of the Colombo Test on Day one. Then, they batted out 32 overs and erased out 70 runs, losing the wicket of Dimuth Karunaratne for 28. At stumps, Kaushal Silva was unbeaten on 21, and Kumar Sangakkara on 18. The Lankans would like to build on their great start on day one, and not get complacent. It may be recalled that they had played themselves into a position of strength in the opening Test as well but went on to lose from there.
It was the post-lunch session that proved calamitous for Pakistan as Kaushal shone, claiming five wickets for 35 runs in nine overs. Kaushal dealt Pakistan with a massive blow, deceiving the Mohammad Hafeez with turn, and clean bowling him for 42. He soon trapped Asad Shafiq lbw for 2, beating him as well with spin. Normally aggressive, Sarfraz Ahmed tried to play himself in, but on 14, he inside edged Kaushal onto the pads, and the ball was held by Angelo Mathews at slip. Wahab Riaz also fell to the offie cheaply, and Kaushal claimed his five-for when he had Yasir Shah caught at long on by Kumar Sangakkara.
While Kaushal took care of the middle and lower order, Prasad dealt the visitors with the decisive early blows. The quickie had opener Ahmed Shehzad dismissed for 1, and troubled the batsmen with his pace. Dushmantha Chameera did not claim an early wicket, but he was quick and kept the batsmen on their hooks. As a result, Pakistan managed to exert pressure from both ends.
In spite of good bowling, Azhar Ali and Hafeez managed to add 46 for the second wicket. Just as it seemed that Pakistan were settling in, Prasad struck with the first ball of the 16th over, as Azhar was caught behind for 26, given out after the third umpire overturned the original not out. Then, Younis Khan, playing in his 100th Test was off-colour. He misjudged a short ball from Prasad and offered a simple chance to Dinesh Chandimal behind the stumps. And, when skipper Misbah-ul-Haq was run-out following a comical mix-up with Sarfraz Ahmed, Pakistan had crumbled to 96 for 9.
Sri Lanka began their reply cautiously. The openers added 47 in 22 overs after which Karunaratne played a poor shot, slashing Junaid Khan outside the off-stump, only to edge it to the keeper. Silva and Sangakkara, however, ensured Sri Lanka maintained ascendancy.
-- By A Cricket Analyst