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Sri Lanka followed their good performance with the bat to restrict Pakistan to 191 for seven in their first innings at close on day-two of the second ICC World Test Championship match at the Galle International Stadium on Monday.
According to information made available her, off-spinner Ramesh Mendis scored 35 with the bat and then took three Pakistan first innings’ wickets to give his side the ascendancy in the series decider. Resuming at the overnight 315 for six, Sri Lanka added 63 runs before they were bowled out. Dunith Wellalage (11) was the first to go on day-two, he was dismissed by a searing bouncer by Naseem Shah.
Niroshan Dickwella completed his 22nd half-century before falling to Naseem. Yasir Shah accounted for Prabath Jayasuriya (8) and Mendis to finish off the Sri Lankan first innings. Mendis’ 35 off 52 balls propelled his side past the 375-mark.
Pakistan were dealt a big blow in the first over of their reply with the first Test hero Abdullah Shafique falling on the second ball of the innings. The right-hander was bowled for a duck by Asitha Fernando. Captain Babar Azam who promoted himself to number three in the batting order in the absence of Azhar Ali scored 16 before falling to Jayasuriya.
Imam-ul-Haq looked set for a big score but fell at 32 when Mendis bowled him as the left-hander attempted a defensive shot on the front foot. Mohammad Rizwan was another batter who failed to make the most of a start as he was sent packing for 24 as Pakistan took tea at 111 for four.
Fawad Alam was the next Pakistan batter to fall in the 20s as the left-hander was pinned lbw on the backfoot by Mendis, Fawad also scored 24. Mohammad Nawaz was the next to go as he continued the trend of the batters getting starts but failing to convert when he was dismissed for 16 off Mendis to leave Pakistan 145 for six.
Salman Ali Agha absorbed the pressure from one end and played some stylish shorts in his maiden half-century that kept Pakistan afloat. The right-hander who made his Test debut in the first Test of the series last week at the same venue, fell on the last ball of the day to Jayasuriya with de Silva taking the catch in the slips.
Salman’s 62 came off 126 balls (four fours, one six). Before his dismissal which left Pakistan in a real spot of bother, the middle-order batter added 46 runs for the seventh-wicket with Yasir (13 not out). This partnership is so far the best in Pakistan’s first innings.
The visitors finished the day 187 runs behind Sri Lanka’s first innings score. Pakistan would need meaningful contributions from the tail enders tomorrow if they are to avoid conceding a big first innings lead.
SCORES IN BRIEF
PAKISTAN 191 for 7 (Salman 62, Ramesh Mendis 3-42) trail SRI LANKA 378 (Chandimal 80, Dickwella 51, O Fernando 50, Naseem 3-58, Yasir 3-83, Nawaz 2-80) by 187 runs.

Sri Lanka bowlers shine, Pakistan batters falter on day-two 1

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