Galle: Pakistan pace bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi kept up his charge with two wickets in the second session to put Sri Lanka into serious trouble in the opening Test today.
The hosts were tottering at 166 for eight at tea after electing to bat first in Galle at the start of the two-match series.
Dinesh Chandimal, on 68, was fighting a lone battle with Maheesh Theekshana, on six, giving him company at the break.
Shaheen, a left-arm quick, and returning leg-spinner Yasir Shah claimed five wickets between them to expose Sri Lanka’s tail.
Shaheen drew first blood as he forced skipper Dimuth Karunaratne to edge onto the stumps before Oshada Fernando and Kusal Mendis attempted to rebuild the innings.
The duo took on the bowlers in a 49-run partnership which included a flurry of boundaries.
But then Yasir, who is making a comeback to the team after a thumb injury that kept him out since August last year, broke through.
Yasir got Kusal caught behind for 21 and Oshada soon followed his partner back to the pavilion in the next over when pace bowler Hasan Ali cut short the openers’ stay on 35.
Angelo Mathews then fell for a 15-ball duck as Yasir got the former captain caught at mid-on and Sri Lanka took lunch at 80-4.
Shaheen struck twice after lunch and fellow quick Naseem Shah and left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz took a wicket each.
Chandimal smashed 19-year-old Naseem for three straight boundaries to bring up his fifty and offer some cheer to the weekend crowd.
Sri Lanka, who beat Australia in a series-levelling Test win in Galle earlier this week, are hosting Pakistan for the first time in seven years.