Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal took two wickets in an over to check Sri Lanka's victory bids on the fourth day of the third and final cricket Test against Pakistan at Sharjah stadium here yesterday.
The wily-spinner dismissed Angelo Mathews (13) and Kaushala Silva (nought) in the final hour to stop Sri Lanka who were on the right track after half-centuries by Tharanaga Paranavitana and Kumar Sangakkara.
Sri Lanka, aiming to level the three-Test series after losing the second Test in Dubai by nine wickets, will seek some quick runs early on Monday, with Paranavitana unbeaten on 66 and Kosala Kulasekera on four not out.
They lead by 237 runs with five wickets intact on a weary pitch which helped the spinners as Ajmal, Mohammad Hafeez and Abdul Rehman troubled the batsmen with spin and deliveries that kept low.
Paceman Umar Gul provided Pakistan with a quick breakthrough as he dismissed Dilshan, caught in the slip off the fifth ball of the innings.
Hafeez said Pakistan remain positive for a win. "We, as a team, remain positive and will see how things go on Monday," said Hafeez. "The pitch is still good but it will be the fifth day and we have to remain positive for a victory."
Left-arm paceman Chanaka Welegadara hoped Sri Lanka get quicky 50 runs to put pressure on Pakistan. "We want to get 50 quick runs so that we can put pressure on Pakistan, we desperately need to win this Test," said Welegadara, who took his maiden five-wicket haul, finishing with 5-87.