DUBAI: Sri Lanka owed it to their bowlers for taking the opening day honours against Pakistan in the second Test in Dubai on Wednesday (January 8). By the close, Sri Lanka had knocked off 57 runs for the loss of Dimuth Karunaratne, the opener, out leg-before to Junaid Khan for 32.
A three-pronged pace and one-man spin attack helped Sri Lanka bowl out Pakistan for just 165 after Angelo Mathews won the toss and opted to bowl on a seaming Dubai stadium pitch.
Nuwan Pradeep, the right-arm pacer, finished with a career-best 3 for 62 while Shaminda Eranga, (2 for 25), Suranga Lakmal (2 for 45) and Rangana Herath (3 for 26) were also useful in the second session.
Kaushal Silva and Kumar Sangakkara were each on 12 as Sri Lanka now trail Pakistan by 108 runs with nine wickets intact on a day dominated by the bowlers.
Initially, it looked as if Sri Lanka had miscalculated in bowling first as Ahmed Shehzad, trapped leg-before by Pradeep in the tenth over for three, was the only man out by lunch, but five wickets fell for 71 runs as Pakistan slumped from 57 for 1 to 128 for 6 at tea.
Khurram Manzoor, the opener, top-scored with 73 in an otherwise insipid batting display.
Sri Lanka’s pacers had little success in the first session. To make matters worse, their hard work was spoilt by some sloppy fielding. Angelo Mathews, the captain, put Ahmed Shehzad down in the slips off Suranga Lakmal with the opener yet to get off the mark, but the lapse did not prove costly.
Following that, Mahela Jayawardene dropped Mohammad Hafeez off the first ball he faced from Pradeep, but the paceman had the last laugh when he castled Hafeez soon after lunch.
Eranga accounted for both, Younis (13) and Misbah (1), dismissing the two batsmen in the space of seven balls to push Pakistan to the brink as they slipped from a position of dominance — 107 for 2 to 109 for 4 — before reaching 128 for 6.
It was a rare failure for Misbah who was Pakistan’s best batsman in Tests and One-Day Internationals last year.
Lakmal then had Khurram Manzoor caught behind off a rash shot for 73 while Asad Shafiq miscued a drive and was caught in the covers for six. Manzoor hit seven boundaries and a six during his 136-ball knock but failed to convert it into a big score and put a brake on the fall of wickets.
Pradeep, who had three wickets in his previous four Tests, took the scalp of Sarfraz Ahmed after tea for seven to claim his best figures in Tests. Herath polished off the tail to wrap Pakistan’s innings.
The third and final Test will be played in Sharjah from January 16.
BRIEF SCORE: Sri Lanka 57 for 1 trail Pakistan 165 (Manzoor 73, Pradeep 3-62, Herath 3-26) by 108 runs