Sri Lanka Bat; Wahab Riaz Replaces Talha

Six thousand two hundred and twenty one days after earning his Test cap at the nearby Premadasa stadium, Mahela Jayawardene's life as a Test cricketer came a full circle as he readied himself for the last lap at the SSC, his favourite venue. And Sri Lanka winning the toss ensured the home crowd wouldn't have to wait too long to see Jayawardene bat. He is 137 runs short of making it 3000 runs at the venue. The pitch, too, was on the expected lines: flat and full of runs.

An emotional Angelo Mathews said at the toss that winning the series 2-0 would be the ideal farewell gift. On the evidence of Pakistan's second-innings batting on a similarly flat pitch in Galle last week, that doesn't seem to be a tall wish despite the surface.

Sri Lanka made minor adjustments to the XI, bringing in Chanaka Welgedara for the injured Shaminda Eranga and replacing Kithruwan Vithanage with Lahiru Thirimanne.

Chasing a series-equalising win, Pakistan didn't tinker with the batting order. Their only change was in their bowling attack as they brought Wahab Riaz, who played his last Test three years ago, in place of Mohammad Talha. However, all eyes would be on Saeed Ajmal, the leader of the bowling attack, who's bowling action was reported after the Galle Test.

Sri Lanka: 1 Upul Tharanga, 2 Kaushal Silva, 3 Kumar Sangakkara, 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Angelo Mathews (capt), 6 Lahiru Thirimanne, 7 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 8 Dilruwan Perera, 9 Dhammika Prasad, 10 Rangana Herath, 11 Chanaka Welegedara

Pakistan: 1 Khurram Manzoor, 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Azhar Ali, 4 Younis Khan, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 6 Asad Shafiq, 7 Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), 8 Abdur Rehman, 9 Wahab Riaz, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Junaid Khan

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