Pallekele (Sri Lanka), July 03 (ANI): Despite a defiant century from Dimuth Karunaratne, Sri Lanka crumbled to legspin again as the hosts were 272-8 at stumps on the opening day of the decisive third Test against Pakistan on Friday at Pallekele.
Put in to bat first, Sri Lanka recovered from a shaky start after the early dismissal of opener Kaushal Silva (9) as Karunaratne and Upul Tharanga steadied the ship by building a solid 91-run partnership for the second wicket .
However, the introduction of Yasir Shah made the difference as he produced a perfect length and accuracy to eventually break the obdurate stand.
Tharanga, who was playing his first Test in a year in the absence of Kumar Sangakkara, made 46 before falling prey to a delivery off prolific leg-spinner Yasir.
Sri Lanka kept losing wickets at regular intervals as Yasir was at his dominant best by removing Lahiru Thirimanne (11), captain Angelo Mathews (3) and Jehan Mubarak (25) to mount pressure on the hosts.
Subsequently, Azhar Ali further damaged the opponents’ batting line-up by dismissing Karunaratne (130) and Dhammika Prasad (0) in quick succession.
Although Dinesh Chandimal (24) looked set for a big innings, he was trapped lbw by Rahat Ali in the penultimate over of the day’s play.
While Yasir stole the limelight by claiming four wickets, Azhar and Rahat took two wickets each to ably support the former.
Tharindu Kaushal and Suranga Lakmal will resume their innings on their respective scores of 17 and 1 tomorrow. (ANI)