Sri Lanka strong after Kaushal five-for
Sri Lanka 70 for 1 (Karunaratne 28) trail Pakistan 138 (Hafeez 42, Kaushal 5-42, Prasad 3-43) by 68 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Offspinner Tharindu Kaushal and pacer Dhammika Prasad carved out Pakistan's batting order, bowling the visitors out for 138 on the first day of the second Test at P Sara Oval. Pakistan's batting implosion took place in the second session of the day - a rain-affected one with an interruption of 55 minutes - as they slumped from 70 for 2, losing their last eight wickets for 68 runs.
Sri Lanka's top order blunted Pakistan's attack and they went to stumps at 70 for 1, trailing by 68 runs with Kumar Sangakkara and Kaushal Silva to take strike tomorrow.
Sri Lanka had found themselves in a similar position in the Galle Test, when Pakistan's top order had failed. In that game, Sarfraz Ahmed and Asad Shafiq's resistance had snatched the game away from Sri Lanka, but on a pitch known for its record of producing results, Sri Lanka's attack tightened their grip on Pakistan, all without the help of Rangana Herath, who did not bowl an over in the day.
At the centre of Sri Lanka's effort was Kaushal, who was picked for the second Test in place of the injured Dilruwan Perera. He was given only one over before lunch, but he owned the second session with a spell of nine overs, conceding 35 runs for five wickets. He tossed up the ball, extracted sharp turn and also made use of the bounce on offer from the track.
Kaushal, playing his first Test at home, deceived both Mohammad Hafeez and Asad Shadiq with turn. The 31st over, cleaved in half by a rain break, saw Kaushal trapping Shafiq plumb in front before Misbah-ul-Haq was run-out by a mile a result of poor calling between the Pakistan captain and Sarfraz.
Sarfraz nudged and nurdled in his effort to revive Pakistan's innings with the lower order but fell to a flighted delivery from Kaushal, going for the drive but only managing an inside edge that ballooned off his pad to Angelo Mathews at slip. Pakistan's innings lasted only four overs after that and Sangakkara's diving effort at long-on to dismiss Yasir Shah, after he had run from mid-on, fittingly capped off Kaushal's five-for.
If the second session belonged to Kaushal, it was the quicks Prasad and Dushmantha Chameera, making his debut, who set up the first, responding to the challenge of having to bowl first.
Prasad struck early with Ahmed Shehzad's wicket, bending his back to extract all the help he could find from the pitch, but just as impressive was Chameera, who harried Pakistan's batsmen with speeds of 145kph in his first spell, and even reached the 150kph mark in the second session.
There was swing on offer, too, and Chameera's pace and accuracy discomfited Azhar Ali and Hafeez during their 46-run second wicket partnership. The pair found themselves squared up and often late on pulls and defensive shots, besides having to dig out accurate, swinging yorkers from the young pacer.
Just as the pair had seen off the toughest period of play, Prasad returned in the 16th over and struck with his first ball, with umpire Paul Reifell overturning the on-field umpire's decision and declaring Azhar out caught behind.
Hafeez's innings had held most of the first session together, and he hit some pleasing shots during his stay - the straight drive off Chameera to bring up Pakistan's 50 was one of them. A partnership between him and Younis could have taken Pakistan to a very different situation, but the latter struggled in his 100th Test appearance, surviving two lbw shouts from Mathews on 0. In the first over after lunch, he tried dropping his wrists to what appeared to be a short delivery off Prasad. The ball didn't sit up as much as he anticipated and he only ended up lobbing it to Dinesh Chandimal behind the stumps, setting off the implosion.
Chameera also got among the wickets towards the end of Pakistan's innings, when Zulfiqar Babar chopped a quick delivery on to his stumps.
Before the game, Mathews had called for better shot selection from his batsmen and the manner of Dimuth Karunaratne's dismissal would have come as a disappointment. The opener had worked for a start but chased at a full, wide delivery off Junaid Khan on 28. Silva survived a close review in the 19th over, when Pakistan went up in appeal for a catch at slip. Replays showed there was no contact between bat and ball, but later suggested the batsman was struck in line and there was a chance of an lbw, which appeared to remain unexplored. Silva finished unbeaten on 21, with Sangakkara on 18.
Rachna Shetty is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo