Sri Lanka in strong start against Pakistan

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Sri Lanka opener Oshada Fernando and in-form batsman Dinesh Chandimal hit half-centuries to drive Sri Lanka to 6-315 on the opening day of the second Test against Pakistan on Sunday.

Chandimal fell for 80, his fourth consecutive 50-plus score, but a string of cameos from their top and middle order kept Sri Lanka on course for a score around 350.

Pakistan could have been in a better position but skipper Babar Azam spilled two catches, including one from Niroshan Dickwella, who was unbeaten at stumps on a run-a-ball 42.

Debutant Dunith Wellalage was on six at the other end.

Electing to bat at the Galle International Stadium, Sri Lanka got off to a strong start with Oshada (50) and Dimuth Karunaratne (40) combining in a 92-run opening stand.

Oshada was particularly aggressive bringing up his fifty with a six off Mohammad Nawaz but fell caught behind to the very next delivery from the left-arm spinner.

Kusal Mendis departed on the stroke of lunch when bowler Agha Salman, trying to stop Karunaratne's straight drive, deflected the ball onto the stumps at the non-striker's end with Mendis short of crease.

Karunaratne was looking good for his fifty but he threw his wicket away attempting a reverse sweep off Yasir Shah.

Angelo Mathews, playing his 100th test, batted aggressively and got a reprieve when Babar floored a sitter at cover when the batsman was on 36.

Mathews could not capitalise on it though and was dismissed caught behind for 42 by Nauman Ali.

A century had looked on the cards for Chandimal but he paid for his ultra-aggression, top edging Nawaz trying to hit the spinner out of the park.

Pakistan have a 1-0 lead in the two-tests series following their thrilling four-wicket victory in the series opener.

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