Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 1st Test, Galle, 2nd day June 18, 2015

Silva, Sangakkara make fifties on curtailed day

Sri Lanka 178 for 3 (Silva 80*, Sangakkara 50) v Pakistan
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Fernando: Sri Lanka driven mainly by Kaushal Silva

Two wickets immediately after tea brought Pakistan back on level terms after a century stand between Kaushal Silva and Kumar Sangakkara had steered Sri Lanka into a position of strength. Silva batted through till stumps to end the day unbeaten on 80, and he and Angelo Mathews will begin day three looking to extend Sri Lanka's score as far as they can on a pitch that is already showing lavish signs of turn and uneven bounce.

Pakistan created enough chances through the day to justify Misbah-ul-Haq's decision to bat first - a "situational" one, he said at the toss, to try and make up for the first-day washout - but only had three wickets to show for it. Wahab Riaz had a wicket chalked off for overstepping when he had Dimuth Karunaratne caught at slip in his first over of the morning, and soon after had Silva put down by Yasir Shah at backward point. Azhar Ali dropped Sangakkara off Yasir during the middle session, a difficult chance straight off the face of the bat.

Soon after tea, when Sangakkara had tucked Yasir into the leg side to join Silva on a half-century, Pakistan must have wondered when their next chance would come. Their spinners were getting help off the pitch, but it was slow turn for the most part and the batsmen were looking comfortably ensconced.

It was Wahab who broke the partnership, with a quite stunning piece of bowling. He had attacked Sangakkara with the short ball - and struck him once on the front shoulder - during a brief skirmish before lunch, but had only sent down four overs in the middle session.

Now in the third over of his post-tea session, he produced one that just straightened from back of a length to beat Sangakkara's defensive prod. It was an excellent delivery, and he bettered it next ball, getting it to deviate in a similar manner from a fuller length and finding the edge through to slip as Sangakkara aimed a drive at it, on the up.

It was Wahab who had taken the first wicket as well, off a short ball that hurried through to find the inside edge of Dimuth Karunaratne's attempted pull. Between the dismissals of Karunaratne and Sangakkara, the second-wicket pair batted for 37 overs.

Pakistan only had to wait six overs for their next wicket, and it was a soft one: Lahiru Thirimanne, waltzing down the pitch to Mohammad Hafeez, popping one tamely to mid-on. It wasn't a wicket earned, technically, but it was reward enough for Pakistan's tight bowling right through the day.

Apart from one lapse - when he slashed too eagerly at Wahab to be put down by Yasir - Silva was equal to it, largely avoiding the drive and capitalising whenever the bowlers dropped short. Six of his 12 fours came from either the cut or the pull. Zulfiqar Babar and Yasir tested him with sharp turn and bounce on a few occasions, but he played close to his body and with soft hands - one edge fell well short of Younis Khan at slip, and the balls that spun especially sharply missed his bat entirely.

After getting through the initial short-ball barrage from Wahab, Sangakkara settled into a familiar rhythm, and it seemed through the post-lunch session that only harebrained running could get him out. On one occasion, he scurried unwisely out of his crease on a couple of occasions after pushing Junaid into the covers while on another, he had to dive home and undergo the third umpire's scrutiny after responding hesitantly to Silva's call for a single to the leg side.

Otherwise he played percentage cricket, keeping his famous cover drive under wraps on a slow pitch and letting the ball come on to work runs through mid-on and midwicket. Out of the ten scoring shots he played through the off side, eight came off Mohammad Hafeez, the only bowler who turned the ball away from him.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo