Pakistan’s pace duo, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah, displayed their brilliance as they wreaked havoc on Sri Lanka’s top-order after the hosts elected to bat first on Monday in the second Test of the Pak vs SL 2023 series.
The start of the day’s play was delayed by 30 minutes due to early morning rain in Colombo, causing a wet outfield.
At lunch, Sri Lanka found themselves struggling at 79-4, trailing 1-0 in the two-match series. Dinesh Chandimal (9) and Dhananjaya de Silva (33) were at the crease, attempting to rebuild the innings after a disastrous collapse that saw the hosts slump to 36-4.
The opening over began with some promise for Sri Lanka as Nishan Madushka hit a boundary off Shaheen’s fourth ball. However, he was unfortunately run out on the same score, called for a risky single by skipper Dimuth Karunaratne.
Shaheen Shah Afridi, the talented left-arm fast bowler, struck again by dismissing Kusal Mendis for just six runs. Then, Naseem Shah, in a remarkable spell, accounted for Sri Lanka’s two most experienced batsmen within eight balls. First, he removed Angelo Mathews for a shaky nine runs, catching him behind the wickets. Next, he got the better of the left-handed Karunaratne (17) with an inside edge that disturbed the stumps.
Dhananjaya de Silva, who showcased his brilliance in the previous match with scores of 122 and 82, fought back valiantly. He played with freedom and took on leg-spinner Abrar Ahmed, hitting a couple of straight boundaries.
In the rain-affected opening Test in Galle, Pakistan emerged victorious, defeating Sri Lanka by four wickets. The ongoing second Test promises to be an intense battle, with Pakistan’s sports enthusiasts eagerly following the cricket updates as their team aims to seal the series against Sri Lanka in 2023.