Sangakkara In Control For Sri Lanka

Kaushal Silva's fall was the only success for Pakistan on the third morning as Kumar Sangakkara sat solid on yet another half-century against them. Sri Lanka added 75 in 26 overs in the session without taking much risk, and barring the odd jaffa from Saeed Ajmal, there was little encouragement for Pakistan from the placid surface.

The Pakistan quick bowlers tried gamely in unhelpful conditions. Junaid Khan even had Mahela Jayawardene padding up on 11, but the batsman reviewed successfully, replays showing the ball would have missed off. Mohammad Talha bowled a tight line outside off stump, and was rewarded when Silva nicked a drive through to the wicketkeeper on 64, ending the second-wicket stand on 120.

Silva had been troubled the most by Ajmal, who operated from one end almost through the session, barring the final 15 minutes, when Abdur Rehman was introduced. Silva was beaten by the doosra, and left an offbreak that bounced just over the stumps. He also chopped a doosra short of the slips, and edged through vacant leg slip. But he was quick to drive Ajmal for successive fours when the bowler was too short and too full, and was tighter against the quick bowlers. He pulled Junaid for four to reach his fifty, but was consumed by the fuller length from Talha just before drinks.

Jayawardene, given a long, loud welcome of bursting crackers in his penultimate Test, also had his nervy moments against Ajmal. He failed to read the doosra on occasion and also inside-edged past short leg but was also prepared to take on Ajmal. He stepped out to loft him for four soon after he came in and whipped the next delivery, which went in the air just past midwicket.

Sangakkara was more at ease against the offspinner, and a rushed single which needed him to slide in was the only moment he was in danger. He edged Talha past the cordon to move to fifty. It was his 11th half-century against Pakistan, who will be worried it does not become his tenth century against them.


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