Colombo: Sri Lanka made a solid start in the second and final Test against Pakistan in Colombo on Thursday, reaching 69 for no loss by lunch on the opening day.
Upul Tharanga was unbeaten on 28 and his opening partner Kaushal Silva was on 38, as Pakistan`s bowlers toiled in vain on a good batting pitch at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC).
Left-handed Tharanga survived a difficult stumping chance when he was on 24 as a ball from spinner Saeed Ajmal rose alarmingly and struck wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed on the left ear.
Sri Lanka made two changes from the side that won the first Test in Galle by seven wickets to take the lead in the two-match series. Left-arm seamer Chanaka Welegedara and batsman Lahiru Thirimanne replaced injured duo Shaminda Eranga and Kithuruwan Vithanage. Pakistan left out lanky fast bowler Mohammad Talha to play left-arm seamer Wahab Riaz.
The match is the last one for Sri Lanka`s former captain Mahela Jayawardene, 37, who will end his 149-Test career to play only one-day internationals until next year`s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. The SSC, which has been Jayawardene`s home ground since his early days, was decorated with giant posters of the star batsman, many of them highlighting his career-best score of 374 at the same venue in 2006.
The Old Boys` Association of Nalanda College, where Jayawardene studied, set up a special stand at the ground for his classmates, current students and the college band.