GALLE: Dinesh Chandimal defied Pakistan’s spin attack to give Sri Lanka a 333-run lead after Mohammad Nawaz completed his five-wicket haul on the third day of the first Test, here on Monday.
Chandimal shone with a magnificent knock of 86 not-out and remained firm on the crease alongside the tail-ender Prabath Jayasuriya as Sri Lanka ended on 329/9 at the conclusion of the day’s play.
Earlier Pakistan spinner rebounded after a dominating first session by Sri Lankan batters as Yasir Shah claimed three wickets while Nawaz starred with five.
Sri Lanka looked in a comfortable position on 132/2 before Lunch as Oshada Fernando and Kusal Mendis remained firm on the crease after spinner Mohammad Nawaz provided a breakthrough early in the day.
Leg-spinner Shah dismantled the strong-looking 91-run partnership between opener Fernando and Mendis when Sri Lanka resumed their inning on 132/2 after Lunch.
Fernando departed without disturbing the scoreboard in the second session after he played a gritty knock of 64 runs.
All-rounder Angelo Mathew failed to impress with the bat as Nawaz dismissed the Sri Lankan veteran cheaply on 9.
Mendis, on the other hand, continued to upset the Pakistan bowlers and looked dangerous on 76 before Shah’s sharp turning ball hit the off-stump to end his inning.
Dhananjaya De Silva combined excellently with the middle-order batter Dinesh Chandimal to raise the 40-run partnership after Sri Lanka were struggling at 178/5.
However, Shah again took the charge and dislodged the stump to send De Silva back to the pavilion after scoring 20.
Meanwhile, Nawaz dismissed wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella on 12 and Ramesh Mendis on 22 to complete his five-wicket haul.
Hasan Ali, on the other hand, remained the only pacer to claim a wicket during a spin-dominated day as he dismissed the number ten batter Maheesh Theekshana on a team total of 308.
Earlier, Sri Lanka resumed the day’s play with an overnight score of 36/1 and lost its lone wicket of the session at a 50-run total as Nawaz dismissed Kasun Rajitha on 7 in a leg-before wicket.
Meanwhile, Pakistan raised 218 in its first inning after the skipper Babar Azam shone with a blistering century on the second day despite a batting collapse.