Sri Lanka led Pakistan by 323 runs having made 176 for 5 in the second innings after cleaning up the visitors for 231 with Ramesh Mendis claiming figures of 5 for 47 on the third day of the second Test of the World Test Championship at the Galle International Stadium on Tuesday. Despite losing 5 wickets for an under par score, the Lankans enjoyed the 147-run first innings leverage over Pakistan in a contest that looked poised in a similar scenario as the first Test with Pakistan to be thrown the gauntlet of a big chase for victory with two days of play remaining.
In that perspective skipper Karunaratne’s arrival might prove to be a blessing in disguise to Sri Lanka’s thrust to turning tables on Pakistan following the first Test humiliation knowing the value input the left-hander carries as a run grafter. That his deputy Dhananjaya de Silva adds to that final Lankan batting thrust in what by paper is a perfect blend given the right-hander’s fiery stroke play to forcing the p ace in a demanding situation is infusing to that countdown to the Lankans taking absolute control of the match by a 400 plus target that would dwarf Pakistan’s batting machine that underlined it’s fluency of going the distance when the going gets tough. The 35-run contribution by veteran batsman Angelo Mathews upfront in the rut that set in repairing the 3 for 59 debacle in stringing 41 for the fourth wicket with Dinesh Chandimal who strung a sedate 21 off 58 was resolute stuff. It was certainly satisfying lending measure marking Mathews’ 100th Test match appearance in the given situation.
CHIEF SCORES: Sri Lanka 378 And 176/5 (50 Overs) (Angelo Mathews 35, Dhananjaya de Silva n.o. 30, Dimuth Karunaratne n.o. 27, Dinesh Chandimal 21, Oshada Fernando 19, Niroshan Dickwella 15, Kusal Mendis 15 , Naseem Shah 2/29, Yasir Shah 2/29) Pakistan 231 (88-1 Overs) (Yasir Shah 26, Hasan Ali 21, Ramesh Mendis 5/47, Prabath Jayasuriya 3/80)