Galle: Prolific off-spinner Saeed Ajmal cut through Sri Lanka's middle order to help Pakistan bounce back on the second day of the first Test in Galle on Saturday.

The hosts, hoping to build on their overnight score of 300-2, lost three wickets in the morning session to move to 366 for five in their first innings by lunch.

Kumar Sangakkara held the innings together with an unbeaten 139, while Prasanna Jayawardene was the other batsman at the crease on 15.

Ajmal, who claimed both wickets on Friday, also added the three that fell in the morning session to return with figures of five for 114, his sixth five-wicket haul in 21 Tests.

The 34-year-old was the world's leading Test wicket-taker in 2011 with 50 scalps in eight matches and grabbed 24 wickets in Pakistan's 3-0 whitewash of top-ranked England earlier this year.

Ajmal dismissed Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene for 62, before removing Thilan Samaraweera and Angelo Mathews off successive balls soon after the drinks break.

Jayawardene added seven runs to his overnight score of 55 when he was bowled by Ajmal, ending a 128-run partnership for the third wicket with Sangakkara.

Ajmal had Samaraweera stumped by Adnan Akmal for six and beat Mathews in the air to pick up an easy return catch with the fifth and sixth deliveries of his 30th over.

Sangakkara denied Ajmal a hat-trick in the bowler's next over and returned unbeaten at lunch with 16 boundaries in his 29th Test century.

(Agencies)

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