In the opening Test of Pakistan’s tour of Sri Lanka, spinner Prabath Jayasuriya wreaked havoc by taking three crucial wickets, including that of skipper Babar Azam, denting Pakistan’s first-innings reply.
Sri Lanka had set a respectable total of 312 runs on the board.
At tea, Pakistan found themselves in a precarious position at 132-5, still trailing Sri Lanka by 180 runs in Galle. Saud Shakeel, scoring 22, and Agha Salman, scoring 19, were holding the fort for the tourists.
On the previous day, Sri Lankan batsman Dhananjaya de Silva displayed an exceptional performance, scoring 122 runs to help his team recover from a lower-order collapse. This boosted Sri Lanka’s total and gave them a solid foundation.
Pakistan’s pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi, along with fellow quick Naseem Shah and leg-spinner Abrar Ahmed, took three wickets each to dismiss the hosts before lunch.
However, Sri Lanka’s bowlers came back with a vengeance. Pacer Kasun Rajitha dismissed Imamul Haq for just one run, while Jayasuriya sent Abdullah Shafique back to the pavilion for 19.
Left-handed batsman Shan Masood showed resilience by smashing 39 runs off 30 balls but was eventually given out lbw to Ramesh Mendis. The decision was initially denied by the on-field umpire but successfully overturned after Sri Lanka’s review.
The pivotal moment arrived when Babar Azam got an inside edge onto his pads, resulting in a catch taken by wicketkeeper Sadeera Samarawickrama at short leg.
Earlier, Dhananjaya de Silva continued his magnificent form from the previous day, reaching his 10th Test century in his 50th match. His innings of 122 runs, comprising 12 fours and three sixes, bolstered Sri Lanka’s position after a shaky start on a rain-hit Sunday when they were at 54-4.
The second day’s play commenced with revised timings for each session, and de Silva wasted no time in reaching his century off Shaheen Shah Afridi. Despite the valuable runs provided by the lower order, de Silva eventually fell to Naseem Shah, who took two wickets after Pakistan took the second new ball.
This intense battle between Pakistani cricket players and Sri Lanka in the opening Test of Pakistan’s tour adds further excitement and drama to Pakistani sports and the latest Pakistan cricket news.