Saeed Ajmal's double has Sri Lanka in trouble

Pakistan spinner picks two wickets in the final session to restrict Lanka to 220-5 on Day 1

Sharjah: Kumar Sangakkara’s half-century was the high spot of an otherwise attritional day as Pakistan’s spinners restricted Sri Lanka to 220 for five on at the end of the opening day of the third Test in Sharjah.

Saeed Ajmal
Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal celebrates a Sri Lanka wicket in Sharjah yesterday. Pics/AFP

Sangakkara reached 52, having brought up his 44th Test fifty, as Sri Lanka’s top order was made to play a patient game against the bowling of Saeed Ajmal and Abdul Rehman.

Mahela Jayawardene hit 47 before he fell just short of his half-century late in the day, Ajmal the man with the wicket as he ended the day with two for 62 from 29 overs.

Ajmal also claimed seven maidens, while Rehman enjoyed nine maidens on his way to one for 45.

Sri Lanka had early suffered an early loss in their bid to wrap up the three-match series, which they lead 1-0 after their nine-wicket triumph in Dubai last time out.

Kaushal Silva was removed for 17 by Mohammad Talha in the 15th over of the day with the score on 31, but fellow opener Dimuth Karunaratne and Sangakkara steadied the ship as Sri Lanka reached lunch without further loss.

Karunaratne hit two fours and a six on his way to 34 at the interval but he was removed in the first over following the resumption, directing Rehman’s delivery to Younis Khan in the slips.

Lucky Sangakkara
Sangakkara could have been removed on 15 but Pakistan failed to call for a review after the umpire failed to spot that the batsman had gloved a Rehman delivery that was gathered in the slips.

Kumar Sangakkara
Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara en route his 52 against Pakistan yesterday

That reprieve allowed Sangakkara to advance to his fifty in 101 balls, but he did not hang around much longer, gifting his wicket with a loose shot off Junaid Khan that was held by Khurram Manzoor at midwicket. 

Mahela Jayawardene was the next man to fall, out just three runs short of his 50 after hitting five fours and a six off 108 deliveries, while Dinesh Chandimal added 11 to the total before he became Ajmal’s second victim.

Prasanna Jayawardene will resume day two unbeaten on 28 while captain Angelo Mathews will return to the crease on 24 not out.

Brief scores: Sri Lanka 220-5 (K Sangakkara 52, S Ajmal 2-62) vs Pakistan

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