sport

Sri Lanka dominate

Debutant Dilruwan Perera and captain Angelo Mathews both fell in the 90s as Sri Lanka put themselves in a strong position on day two of the third Test against Pakistan.

With a 1-0 lead to their name, Sri Lanka need only a draw in Sharjah to seal a series win and they batted cautiously on their way to an imposing total of 428-9 declared, Mathews making 91 and Perera 95 from No 8.

Pakistan were handed a thankless six-over trial at the end of the day but Khurram Manzoor and Ahmed Shehzad held out to reach 19-0.

Sri Lanka scored at a pedestrian rate of 2.48 per over in their lengthy innings, during which spinners Ajmal Shahzad and Abdur Rehman bowled 55 and 50 overs respectively.

Bounced out

Resuming on 220-5, Sri Lanka almost lost Mathews to an early lbw review, but instead saw Prasanna Jayawardene become the only victim of the morning session.

Mohammad Talha, Pakistan's 25-year-old paceman, delivered a bouncer and Jayawardene misjudged his response, finding Junaid Khan at long-leg to leave Sri Lanka 239-6.

The run-rate remained slow after the drinks break but Perera scored the first boundary for 17 overs before Mathews hit another four in the next and his partner followed with a six off Rehman.

Mathews brought up his fifty off 157 balls as he and Perera built a grinding partnership to see the tourists through to lunch on 302-6.

Progress was even slower in the second session, with the total rising by a meagre 57 runs in 29 overs.

Pakistan started with 17 successive dot balls, a sequence ended when Perera thrashed Talha to the cover boundary.

Mathews finally threw off his shackles by lashing Rehman for a mighty six in a rare show of aggression.

Such moments were the exception rather than the rule as Sri Lanka were generally kept in check.

The tone shifted in the 149th over when Junaid struck with consecutive deliveries.

Golden duck

Mathews' crawl towards three figures ended tamely when he sliced his 256th ball to Ahmed Shehzad at point and Junaid sent Rangana Herath back for a golden duck with a full, swinging ball first up.

That left Sri Lanka on 351-8, with Perera reaching 50 with his seventh four.

The evening's play saw Perera steadily pick off boundary balls with support from Eranga, hitting his 12th four immediately before being dismissed by Talha.

As with Jayawardene, the short ball did for the tailender, who hooked a rising delivery to Junaid at long-leg to miss out on a fairytale start to his Test career.

The declaration was close behind and Pakistan's openers were given no scares when sent in for 20 minutes.