Kaushal Silva fell agonisingly short of a maiden century but Sri Lanka were nevertheless in firm control at the end of day two of the second Test against Pakistan in Dubai.
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Opener Silva, playing in his fifth Test, reached tea on 92 but added only three more runs after the break before he was trapped lbw by Mohammad Hafeez.
But it proved Pakistan's only moment of joy in the evening session as Mahela Jayawardene brought his own ton up at the other end while Angelo Mathews came in to add 42 not out, leading the tourists to 318 for four, already 153 runs ahead.
Pakistan had made breakthroughs early in the day, but Sri Lanka ended it well on top.Silva, resuming on 12 from an overnight total of 57 for one, was watchful in the morning as he advanced to 40 not out in a lunch score of 132 for three.
Kumar Sangakkara and Dinesh Chandimal were the batsmen whose wickets fell.Sangakkara followed up a streaky boundary down to third man with a rather more assured cover drive two balls later off Rahat Ali, but the bowler had his revenge in his next over when he trapped the number three lbw for 26.
Chandimal got off the mark with an edge through a gap in the slip cordon for four, but he failed to make the most of his let-off when, on 12, he hooked Junaid Khan to Rahat at long leg.Silva showed his team-mate how it was done in the next over, pulling Rahat through square leg for four in the next over, while Jayawardene, demoted to number five in the order after a poor run in Tests, looked assured.
The pair continued their solid form after lunch, gathering 83 runs without loss in the afternoon session as Sri Lanka reached tea on 215 for three, already 50 ahead of Pakistan's 165 all out.
Silva's 50 came in the 50th over with a pulled four off the otherwise tight Saeed Ajmal and his sixth boundary - a clean cut off Rahat - moved Sri Lanka into the lead.
The 27-year-old found the ropes four more times before the tea break, while Jayawardene, playing within himself at the other end, reached fifty with a single just before the interval.
Silva soon departed once the final session began but Jayawardene stood firm to reach the close unbeaten on 106, his 32nd Test ton, while Mathews helped form yet another partnership to frustrate Pakistan.
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