On-song Ajmal restricts Lanka

Cricket Third Test

On-song Ajmal restricts Lanka

Spinner shines in final session as Pak reduce SL to 220/5 on day one

Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal picked up two wickets in the last session to restrict Sri Lanka to 220 for five wickets at stumps on the first day of the third and final Test in Sharjah on Thursday.

The experienced slow bowler dismissed a well-set Mahela Jayawardene (47) with some extra spin and bounce and then baffled Dinesh Chandimal (11) with a doosra to reduce Sri Lanka to 166 for five at one stage.

Captain Angelo Mathews (24) and wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene (28) held firm with an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 54 runs to deny Pakistan any further success.

Ajmal was confident he had Prasanna out leg before and the umpire agreed too but the batsman reviewed the decision successfully as replays showed the ball was bouncing over the stumps. Faced with some accurate bowling from Pakistan, Sri Lanka found scoring difficult on a slow and low pitch at the Sharjah stadium after Mathews opted to bat after winning the toss. Mohammad Talha, playing only his second Test, struck early to get rid of Kaushal Silva (17) while left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman dismissed Dimuth Karunaratne (34) immediately after lunch.

Kumar Sangakkara (52) added 60 for the third wicket with Mahela to steady Sri Lanka's ship. 

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