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08-Jul-2012 14:00:00 GMT
Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Pallekele, 1st day

Bowlers Dominate 1st Day at Pallekele

Pallekele: Sri Lanka seamer Thisara Perera claimed career-best figures of 4-63 as Pakistan was bowled out for 226 on the first day of the third and final Test.

Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath chipped in with three wickets after Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene put the tourists in to bat for the second consecutive match.

Pakistan hit back to reduce Sri Lanka to 44 for 3 by stumps as left-arm seamer Junaid Khan removed Dinesh Chandimal and dangerman Kumar Sangakkara in the space of four deliveries.

Chandimal was leg-before for eight, while Sangakkara was bowled for zero after making 199 not out and 192 in the previous two Tests.

Mohammad Sami then trapped skipper Jayawardene leg-before in the last over of the day to cap an absorbing day's play at the Pallekele International Stadium.

Pakistan, looking for a series-levelling win, failed to adjust to the moving ball on a responsive wicket and collapsed to 56-4 soon after the first hour of play.

They recovered through a fighting 75 from Asad Shafiq, who put on 85 for the fifth wicket with skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (40) before the innings terminated midway through the post-tea session.

Perera, a 23-year-old playing only his sixth Test, made an immediate impact in his maiden appearance in the series by grabbing three wickets in his first eight overs.

Unlike the second Test where Jayawardene's decision to field on a flat track backfired as Pakistan ran up 551-6 declared, the hosts finally found conditions that suited the bowlers.

The bounce on the greenish pitch was less than expected -- the wicket-keeper stood up to the stumps as early as the third over -- but there was considerable movement in the air and off the wicket.

Perera, taking advantage of overcast conditions, struck after Pakistan's openers had rattled up 35 by the eighth over, bowling Mohammad Hafeez with a delivery that swung in sharply.

Dilshan was replaced by Chandimal, while Suraj Randiv and Nuwan Pradeep made way for Fernando and Perera.

Pakistan included Umar Gul and Sami, who both missed the second Test, in place of Aizaz Cheema and Abdur Rehman.

Brief scores
226 (Shafiq 75, Misbah 40, Perera 4-63)
Sri Lanka 44 for 3 (Junaid 2-15)
Status Sri Lanka trail by 182 runs

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