GALLE: Former captain Angelo Mathews helped Sri Lanka rebuild in his landmark 100th Test on Sunday after the hosts lost three wickets against Pakistan in the second match.
Mathews (36) and Dinesh Chandimal (35) put on an unbeaten stand of 61 at Galle after the hosts lost skipper Dimuth Karunaratne for 40 early in the second session.
Mathews was gifted a reprieve on 36 when Pakistan skipper Babar Azam dropped an easy catch at extra cover off left-arm spinner Nauman Ali.
The hosts reached 181 for three at tea after they elected to bat first in their bid to bounce back from their opening loss in the two-match series.
Oshada Fernando and the left-handed Karunaratne started with a 92-run opening stand before left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz broke through.
Fernando smashed Nawaz for a six to reach his seventh Test half-century, but got out caught behind for 50 on the next ball.
Kusal Mendis survived 11 balls and made three before being run out at the stroke of lunch off a direct throw from Agha Salman, while the batsman was backing up at the non-strikers´ end.
Karunaratne fell to Yasir Shah´s leg spin after his attempted reverse sweep went to backward point where Naseem took a sharp catch as Sri Lanka looked in trouble at 120-3.
Mathews, 35, was feted by Sri Lanka Cricket and accompanied by his family at the start of the Test for reaching his milestone.
Earlier, Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss and elected to bat against Pakistan.
Teenage left-arm spinner Dunith Wellalage made his Test debut while fast bowler Asitha Fernando returned after recovering from COVID.
Pakistan have also made two changes, with left-arm spinner Nauman Ali coming in for injured quick Shaheen Shah Afridi and Azhar Ali for left-hand batsman Fawad Alam.
The tourists, led by Babar Azam, won the opening match by four wickets on a tense fifth day at the same venue.
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wkt), Ramesh Mendis, Prabath Jayasuriya, Dunith Wellalage, Asitha Fernando
Pakistan: Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan (wkt), Fawad Alam, Agha Salman, Mohammad Nawaz, Yasir Shah, Hasan Ali, Nauman Ali, Naseem Shah
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