27 June 2015
Kaushal Silva's 80 and 77 from Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews helped Sri Lanka finish the second day of the second Test with a lead of 166 runs. The hosts will, however, be disappointed with a few of their dismissals on the day, which held them back from a more dominating performance. For Pakistan, Yasir Shah was the best bowler, picking up 5 for 95 - his second, successive Test five-for - and crossing a few personal milestones on the way.
Mathews was the common thread between two partnerships that stabilised Sri Lanka after wobbles had threatened to erode the advantage of a lead. In the first session, Mathews and Silva came together after Kumar Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne had been dismissed within a short span of time. The pair added 72 for the fourth wicket, seeing the side through to a crucial period of play before lunch, and then capitalising on the loose deliveries on offer from a Pakistan attack that had to shoulder the extra burden of Wahab Riaz's absence.
It was Mathews' partnership with Dhammika Prasad, however, that was far more crucial for Sri Lanka. The lead had been gained but the advantage seemed to be slipping away when Silva, Dinesh Chandimal and Kithuruwan Vithanage were dismissed for an addition of 11 runs to the score. Mathews, himself, received a few reprieves. He came close to being run-out for 25 in the 69th over when a throw from an off-balance Yasir Shah bought him time. He was dropped on 32 when Yasir Shah couldn't hold on to a top-edge at mid-on, and then poor communication resulted in Silva's run-out.
He then had to watch as Dinesh Chandimal and Kithuruwan Vithanage played poor shots to fall quickly before Prasad held steady at the crease after surviving an lbw appeal off his first ball. The onus of scoring rested largely on Mathews, but Prasad didn't hold back on poor deliveries, even stepping out to Babar to score a four over mid-off. By the time the partnership was broken Prasad had contributed 35 runs to Mathews' 36. That partnership helped Sri Lanka's lead swell from 64 to 137.