Leg-spinner Yasir Shah claimed five for 95 as Pakistan halted Sri Lanka’s march towards a big first innings lead in the second Test at the P. Sara Oval in Colombo.
Shah made up for the absence of injured pace spearhead Wahab Riaz to keep Sri Lanka to 9-304 by stumps on the second day in reply to the tourists’ modest 138.
Opener Kaushal Silva top-scored with 80 and skipper Angelo Mathews made 77, but Sri Lanka lost six wickets for 112 runs after at one stage being 3-191.
Rangana Herath (10) and last man Dushmantha Chameera (0) will resume on the third day with their team leading by 166 runs on a pitch that is giving spinners plenty of bounce and turn.
Pakistan missed Wahab, who has been ruled out for the rest of the series with a hairline fracture in his left hand that he received while batting on Thursday.
Wahab bowled nine overs on the first day but did not take the field on Friday, leaving Pakistan one strike bowler short.
Yasir, whose seven-wicket haul in Sri Lanka’s second innings set up Pakistan’s 10-wicket victory in the first Test in Galle, once again tormented the rival batsmen.
He had Lahiru Thirimanne caught at short-leg by Azhar Ali for seven before lunch, and then bowled both Dinesh Chandimal (one) and Kithuruwan Vithanage (three) in the afternoon session.
Yasir yorked Chandimal with a faster delivery and Vithanage fell to an ungainly reverse sweep, failing to connect bat to ball.
Opener Silva, who hit a century in Galle, once again anchored the team’s brittle batting.
Silva and Mathews put on 72 for the fourth wicket to take the score to 3-191 when three wickets crashed in the space of 11 runs to open up the tail.
Silva was run out when he drove Zulfiqar Babar to mid-on and charged down the wicket for a sharp single, only for Mathews to send him back.
Kumar Sangakkara, who resumed on 18 at the team’s overnight score of 1-70, made 34 when he attempted a big hit off left-arm spinner Babar and was caught at long-on by Asad Shafiq.
Sri Lanka were tottering at 6-202 when tailender Dhammika Prasad helped Mathews add 73 runs for the seventh wicket to boost the total.
Both batsmen were dismissed in successive overs as Prasad was trapped leg-before by Mohammad Hafeez for 35 and Mathews fell in similar fashion against Yasir.
Yasir’s dismissal of Mathews gave the leg-spinner his 50th wicket in only nine Tests, making him the fastest among Pakistani bowlers to reach the mark.