An unbroken stand of 98 between Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara put Sri Lanka in a good position at the close on day three of the Second Test against Pakistan in Colombo.
Sangakkara put together his 51st Test half-century, moving on to 54 by stumps, while Jayawardene – who this week announced that this will be his last Test – is one run short of his fiftieth 50 and just 41 runs short of finishing his career at the highest level with a landmark average of 50.
Pakistan’s opening bowler Abdur Rehman led the resistance from the visitors, taking both Sri Lankan second innings wickets to date, those of Upul Tharanga and Kaushal Silva for 65 runs in his 24 overs.
Pakistan had begun the day on 244-6 and Sarfraz Ahmed turned his overnight unbeaten 66 into a maiden Test century before becoming one of nine wickets in the innings for Rangana Herath for 103.
Herath finished with figures of 9-127 from 33.1 overs, becoming only the 16th man in Test history to dismiss nine or more batsmen in an innings, as the visitors were all out for 332.
Their lead of 12 was quickly passed by Sri Lanka, who were 79-2 when Jayawardene and Sangakkara came together and if they can up the current run rate from 2.8 per over on day four then they have a chance of adding to their First Test success to end the former captain’s career on a high.