Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Sri Lanka in control after Karunaratne 196

Stumps Pakistan 51 for 0 (Aslam 30*, Masood 15*) trail Sri Lanka 482 (Karunaratne 196, Chandimal 62, Dilruwan 58, Yasir 6-184) by 431 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Sri Lanka retained control of the Test, and by extension the series, thanks to Dimuth Karunaratne's 196 and a pair of sprightly fifties from Niroshan Dickwella and Dilruwan Perera. Pakistan's small victories, however, ensured the dream of a squared series endures into day three. For them, Yasir Shah claimed 6 for 184, becoming the first spinner to take five-wicket hauls in five successive Tests. Openers Sami Aslam and Shan Masood then moved the team to 42 for no loss in response to Sri Lanka's 484. Sure, the hosts have a mountain to scale, but have at least begun the ascent without incident.

Karunaratne fitted Sri Lanka's mighty innings with its spine, though, but to summarise his 63 runs on day two is to re-hash the account of his progress from day one. He was strong off his legs again, flicking deliciously, and pulling the ball with excellent control. He defused Yasir Shah judiciously again, routinely getting inside the line of the ball to work him towards square leg. At the end of the innings, his wagon wheel showed and unsurprising preference for the legside - 140 of his runs and 13 off his 20 boundaries coming on that side of the pitch. There were a couple of Yasir balls that took his inside edge, but on each occasion, he got enough bat on ball to send the ball wide of the close fielders.

The disappointment, of course, is that he surpassed his previous best - 187 against West Indies - but still did not progress to that maiden double hundred. This was largely because he was pinned down by Wahab Riaz in that period. Having failed to score off 14 of the 17 balls Wahab bowled to him after he got to 190, Karunaratne poked at a short delivery that came back slightly off the seam. The ball took his inside edge, hit his thigh pad, and clattered into his stumps.

But for all the substance Karunaratne's innings had provided, it was Sri Lanka's lower middle-order men whose enterprise gained their team the most ground on day two. Having come to the crease roughly halfway through the first session, Dickwella did as Dickwella does - heaving Yasir Shah over the legside off his ninth ball, before punching Amir through the covers soon after. There were more daring shots, including against-the-turn reverse sweeps against Yasir. He passed fifty for the second time in the series just after the tea break, before edging Mohammad Abbas behind, finishing with 52 off 53 balls.

Dilruwan Perera, who is rapidly confirming himself a bona fide allrounder, soon picked up where Dickwella left off. He clattered five of his seven boundaries off Yasir, while gathering 58 off 76 deliveries. When Yasir eventually bowled him around his legs, Sri Lanka's score had passed 450. Though Rangana Herath made an unbeaten 26 - replete with his manic reverse-sweeps to spin and his swivel-pulls to the quick bowlers - Yasir polished the tail off quickly enough. Incredibly, having bowled 84 overs in the first Test, he had already delivered 55.3 overs in Dubai.

That his workload was so high was partly due to the absence of Amir. Late on day one, Amir left the field nursing an injury to his shin, but he had been cleared to bowl on the second day, and yet, could manage no more than three overs before leaving the field again. To compound Pakistan woes in the first session, Wahab Riaz had a minor existential crisis. Briefly, he seemed to forget how it is he bowled. Attempting to deliver the fifth ball of his 19th over, Wahab aborted his run up five times, failing, inexplicably, to get into his usual delivery slide. Captain Sarfraz Ahmed was a picture of bewilderment. On the dressing room balcony, head coach Mickey Arthur was stomping around. Bowling coach Azhar Mahmood wore a vexed look as well.

In any event, Wahab collected himself at the tea break, and it was his discipline that helped keep Pakistan in the match through that Amir-less second session. Mohammad Abbas struck twice as well, while Yasir wheeled away at one end. Given how at one stage, Pakistan seemed on the brink of one of their spectacular unraveling, their performance through the second and third sessions was a relative show of character.

Their reward for holding it together was a fortuitous umpiring decision on the penultimate over of the match. Shan Masood had blocked his way to 15 off 53 balls before Dilruwan hit him in front of the stumps with a slider. The raucous appeal was turned down, but Sri Lanka chose not to challenge that decision, having already burnt a review in this innings. Sami Aslam, who was 30 off 49 balls by stumps, also survived a close call. He had been on 10 when he set off for a sharp single from the non-striker's end, only to be sent back belatedly by his partner. Had Suranga Lakmal been more accurate with his throw, Pakistan would have lost an early wicket.

End of an era


No. of Test series lost by Pakistan in the UAE since they started playing their home games there in 2010, before this. They had won five and drew four of the nine series.

Strong comeback


Asad Shafiq's average in 10 Test innings this year, before this century in the fourth innings. His highest score in those innings was only 39.

Biggest turnaround?


Most runs added by the last 5 wickets in a successful chase, by Australia against Pakistan in Hobart in 1999-00. If Pakistan wins this Test, they would have added 265 runs for the last 5 wkts and will be a record.

Big difference


Difference in Sri Lanka's totals in this match - 482 & 96 - their highest ever in a Test. Previous highest was 383 v Australia at SSC in 1992.

Contrasting innings


Score at which Sri Lanka lost their 5th wicket in the second innings. They were at 370 when the fifth wicket fell in the first innings.

Yasir's hot streak


No. of consecutive Tests in which Yasir Shah has picked at least one five-wicket haul. He's the first spinner to do so.

Going on and on


No. of times in last 3 years Karunaratne has played innings of 300+ balls in Tests - most among all openers. Cook and Azhar Ali have batted 3 such innings.

Only the third


Runs for Karunaratne as opener in Tests. He's only the third Sri Lanka opener to do so after Jayasuriya (5932) and Atapattu (5317).

Karunratne-Chandimal show


No. of 100+ partnerships for the fourth-wicket for Sri Lanka in this series, both between Karunaratne and Chandimal. In the home series against India they could add only a total of 77 runs from six fourth-wicket stands.

Openers' high


Last time a Sri Lanka openers scored 3 or more Test 100s in a year, before Karunaratne this time. Dilshan had hit 3 in 2012. Only Elgar (5) has scored more 100s than Karunaratne in 2017.

Bumper year


No. of 50+ scores by Dimuth Karunaratne in Tests this year - the most among all Sri Lanka players. Among all players, only Elgar, Rahul, Pujara and Root have more such scores.

Strong start


Samarawickrama's strike rate in his first-class career, before making his Test debut in this match. He's striking at over 100 in his debut innings. He averaged 63.63 in 2016-17 season with 4 centuries in 21 innings.

Day/Night debut


Sri Lanka are playing their maiden Day/Night Test while Pakistan are playing their third.