RECOVERY: Juanaid stars after batting collapse
PALLEKELE, SRI LANKA: YOUNG seamer Thisara Perera grabbed a career-best 4-63 as Sri Lanka bowled out Pakistan for 226 on the opening day of the Final Test in Pallekele yesterday.
Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath chipped in with three wickets after Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene put the tourists in to bat for the second consecutive match.
Pakistan hit back to reduce Sri Lanka to 44-3 by stumps as left-arm seamer Junaid Khan removed Dinesh Chandimal and dangerman Kumar Sangakkara in the space of four deliveries.
Chandimal was leg-before for eight, while Sangakkara was bowled for zero after making 199 not out and 192 in the previous two Tests.
Mohammad Sami then trapped skipper Jayawardene leg-before in the last over of the day to cap an absorbing day's play at the Pallekele International Stadium.
Pakistan, looking for a series-levelling win, failed to adjust to the moving ball on a responsive wicket and collapsed to 56-4 soon after the first hour of play.
They recovered through a fighting 75 from Asad Shafiq, who put on 85 for the fifth wicket with skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (40) before the innings terminated midway through the post-tea session.
Sri Lanka, who won the first Test in Galle before the second in Colombo was drawn, are seeking their first series win in three years, after defeating New Zealand 2-0 at home in 2009.
Perera, a 23-year-old playing only his sixth Test, made an immediate impact in his maiden appearance in the series by grabbing three wickets in his first eight overs.
Unlike the second Test where Jayawardene's decision to field on a flat track backfired as Pakistan ran up 551-6 declared, the hosts finally found conditions that suited the bowlers. AFP