Paceman Junaid Khan claimed his fourth five-wicket haul (five for 58) and Bilawal Bhatti finished with three for 65 as Pakistan enjoyed the better of the opening day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
Sri Lanka was bowled out for 204, after Misbah-ul-Haq opted to bowl first on a greenish Sheikh Zayed Stadium pitch and by the close, Pakistan had reached 46 for one with debutant opener Ahmed Shehzad batting on 25.
Amidst the collapse in the Sri Lankan innings, skipper Angelo Mathews stood out, defying the Pakistan attack for 160 minutes for his 91.
He added an invaluable 61 for the ninth wicket with Shaminda Eranga (14) to lift Sri Lanka from a precarious 124 for eight.
Mathews hit 15 boundaries during his fighting knock, improving on his previous best of 64 not out against Pakistan at Colombo in 2009, before he was the last man out, stumped off Saeed Ajmal, who finished with two for 32.
Misbah’s decision looked unwise as Sri Lankan openers Dimuth Karunaratne (38) and Kaushal Silva (20) gave the team a sound start, putting on 57 for the first wicket.
Karunaratne hit three boundaries in the first three overs, and five in all, before he miscued a drive off Junaid and was smartly snapped up at gully by Asad Shafiq.
But, from 66 for one, Sri Lanka lost seven wickets for the addition of 101 runs in the afternoon session. — AFP