Galle - Younis Khan smashed 177 during a valiant fightback with the lower
order batsmen as Pakistan gained the upper hand in the first Test
against Sri Lanka in Galle on Thursday.
Khan, who came in to bat
at 19-2 on the first morning, anchored the innings admirably to enable
the tourists to pile up 451 all out by tea on the second day.
Lanka replied with 99-1 by close, comfortably tackling both pace and
spin, but the batsmen will remain wary of the turn and bounce that will
increasingly come into play over the next three days.
seamer Junaid Khan trapped Upul Tharanga leg-before for 19 in the fifth
over, but Kaushal Silva and Kumar Sangakkara settled in to put on 75 for
the second wicket.
Silva was unbeaten on 38 and Sangakkara was on 36 with Sri Lanka still 352 runs behind the tourists.
36-year-old Younis, who is playing his 90th Test, batted for eight
hours and 16 minutes, hitting 15 boundaries and a six in his 24th Test
Pakistan, who resumed at their overnight score of 261-4,
went to lunch on 347-5 with Asad Shafiq making 75 during a fifth-wicket
stand of 137 with Khan.
The visitors added 32 runs in the first
hour when left-arm spinner Rangana Herath broke through for Sri Lanka by
trapping Shafiq leg-before. The batsman's appeal to the TV umpire went
Sri Lanka came close to removing Khan when he was on 156,
but seamer Shaminda Eranga spilled a sharp return catch as the batsman
failed to keep a drive along the ground.
Perera, who had gone without a wicket for four sessions, struck five
times in the post-lunch period to hasten the end of Pakistan's innings.
ended Khan's vigil soon after lunch by beating the well-set batsman in
the air, resulting in an easy catch at short mid-wicket, a soft
dismissal that came against the run of play.
wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed made 55 and shared a sixth-wicket stand of
66 with Khan when he too lobbed an easy catch to mid-on to give Perera
his second wicket.
The off-spinner had Saeed Ajmal and Junaid
caught at leg-slip by Mahela Jayawardene, taking the retiring former Sri
Lankan captain's tally to 202 Test catches.
Only India's Rahul Dravid has taken more catches (210) by a fielder other than a wicket-keeper.
Abdur Rehman, essentially a left-arm spinner, showed his batting skills
by hammering six fours and a six while making 50, his second Test
Rehman's heroics enabled Pakistan to add 92 for the last four wickets after Khan's dismissal.