Sri Lanka slump to spirited Pakistan bowling
Abu Dhabi: Sri Lanka slumped against some spirited Pakistan bowling to struggle at 115-7 at tea on the opening day of the first cricket Test at Abu Dhabi stadium on Tuesday.
Sent into bat by Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq, Sri Lanka were 50-1 at lunch but lost six wickets with the addition of just 65 runs in the second session as Pakistani bowlers justified the decision to field first on a greenish-brown pitch.
At tea Angelo Mathews was on three and Suranga Lukmal unbeaten on nought.
Pakistan's three-pronged pace attack justified Misbah's decision as left-arm paceman Junaid Khan (3-21), also proving his elevation over another left-armer Wahab Riaz corect, produced a burst of three wickets off just five balls.
Paceman Aizaz Cheema had opened the gates by dismissing former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara in the second over after lunch, forcing an edge off the left-handed batsmen which was smartly snapped up by a diving keeper Adnan Akmal.
Sangakkara managed just two.
Opener Tharanga Paranavitana then gloved a short-pitch delivery off fast bowler Umar Gul to Akmal to leave the Islanders struggling at 79-3. Paranavitana hit three boundaries during his patient knock of 37.
Skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan, who demoted himself to number five against Australia last month, hit the first ball he faced for a boundary and added 33 with Paranavitana before Sri Lanka lost the way.
Dilshan was unlucky to be given out, caught behind off Ajmal by New Zealand umpire Tony Hill when replays showed he clearly missed the ball.
Khan then ripped through the middle-order, dismissing Mahela Jayawardene (28) with the third ball of his ninth over, had Parasanna Jayawardene (nought) three balls later and then Rangana Herath (nought) off the first ball of his next.
In the first session Sri Lankan openers were cautious as their first boundary came only in the 14th over when the left-hander Paranavitana drove Hafeez to the cover boundary.
Misbah brought on spinner Hafeez in the eighth over, and he came close to trapping Thirimanne in his first over.
Sangakkara brought up the fifty with a single, as Pakistan's pacemen toiled hard under a scorching sun.
The three Test series was shifted to United Arab Emirates after Sri Lanka refused an invitation to tour Pakistan in the wake of terrorists attacks on a military base in Karachi in May this year.