KANDY: Sri Lankan seam bowler Thisara Perera shone in his first home test with a three-wicket burst that left Pakistan reeling at 81 for four wickets at lunch on the opening day of the third and final test at the Pallekele Stadium on Sunday.
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq (10) and Asad Shafiq (12) were in the crease at the break after Perera (3-31) and his new ball colleague Nuwan Kulasekara (1-27) had vindicated skipper Mahela Jayawardene’s decision to field first on a wicket that had something for the pacers.
Perera began with a loose first over, conceding 10 runs to Mohammad Hafeez (22) but quickly found his line and length to trouble the batsmen with early movement which the pitch afforded.
Hafeez added 35 runs with Taufiq Umar before Perera slipped one through the bat-pad gap to remove him.
In his next over, Azhar Ali played away from his body to edge a catch to Thilan Samaraweera in the gully to be dismissed for a duck.
Kulasekara kept the pressure on from the other end and was rewarded when former Pakistan captain Younus Khan fell for a duck, edging a catch behind the wicket to Prasanna Jayawardene.
Perera returned to claim his third wicket when he trapped Umar who had hit six fours in his score of 29 leg before.
Sri Lanka leads the three-test series 1-0.