Sharjah: Saeed Ajmal picked up two wickets in the last session as Pakistan restricted Sri Lanka to 220 for five wickets at stumps on Day I of the third and final Test, here, at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, on Thursday.
The off-spinner 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 wicket-keeper 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, too, agreed. But the batsman reviewed the decision successfully as replays showed the ball was going over the stumps.
Faced with some accurate bowling from Pakistan, Sri Lanka found scoring difficult on a slow and low pitch after Mathews opted to bat.
Kumar Sangakkara (52) added 60 for the third wicket with Mahela to steady Sri Lanka’s ship, but hit paceman Junaid Khan tamely to mid-wicket after completing his 44th Test half-century.