Mahela Jayawardene signed off from Test cricket with the bat with his fiftieth half-century as Sri Lanka extended their lead in the second innings to 222 on the fourth day of the second Test against Pakistan on Sunday.
Angelo Mathews (24) and Niroshan Dickwella (13) were at the crease at the break with Sri Lanka, who lead the two-test series 1-0, on 234 for five wickets.
On a pitch offering bounce and sharp turn, Sri Lanka struggled against Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, who took all three wickets in the session for 22 runs while bowling 14 overs unchanged from one end.
The Pakistan attack was still without paceman Junaid Khan, who did not take the field after suffering a blow on the left side of his head on the third day against Dhammika Prasad.
Pakistan did well to contain Sri Lanka to just 57 runs in the morning session with only three front line bowlers.
The visitors picked up the experienced pair of Kumar Sangakkara and Jayawardene in the first 30 minutes of play. Sangakkara (59) had added just five to his overnight score when he pushed forward to a delivery from Ajmal that spun and bounced and took the edge to end up in the hands of Azhar Ali at silly point.
Sangakkara’s dismissal ended a third-wicket stand of 107 with Jayawardene, the 19th occasion the pair had been involved in a century stand.
Jayawardene (54) completed his fifty with a swept four to fine leg off Ajmal, bringing the crowd on their feet.
On 53, he was lucky to survive a confident appeal for a caught behind off Wahab Riaz when the third umpire ruled in favour of the batsman after replays proved inconclusive on the authenticity of the catch held by wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed.
Jayawardene, however, did not survive long as a run later he tried to hit Ajmal over midwicket but only managed to hit it in the air. Ahmed Shehzad ran back from midwicket to hold onto a good catch.
The former Sri Lanka captain received a standing ovation from the crowd all the way back to the pavilion.
Jayawardene ended his batting career in Tests with a tally of 11,814 runs from 149 Tests at an average of 49.84, making him the seventh highest run-scorer in the longest format.