A see-swing Day 2 of the ongoing first Test ended with Pakistan fighting back thanks to a counter-attacking unbeaten 120-run stand between Saud Shakeel and Agha Salman at Galle International Stadium on Monday.
At the time of Stumps, Pakistan’s score read 221/5, trailing Sri Lanka by 91 runs with Saud Shakeel (69) and Agha Salman (61) standing unbeaten at the crease. Half-centuries for both in an undefeated 120-run partnership means Pakistan are currently only 91 runs behind Sri Lanka’s first-innings total of 312 and might have made a bigger dent if the day hadn’t been cut short by monsoon rains. (Hilarious Run By Hasan Ali In SL vs PAK Test Leaves Fans And Commentators In Fits Of Laughter – Watch)
Pakistan had made a very poor start in their reply when Imam Ul Haq paid the price for the rash shot and was caught in a gully. Abdullah Shafique fell to Prabath Jayasuriya as 47 for two and soon became 67 for three when DRS confirmed Mendis’ delivery would hit Shan Masood’s leg stumps after the on-field umpire had earlier decided in his favour. Shan struck five fours and a six in a 30-ball 39 and looked in top form.
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Pakistan twice suffered body blows in a space of 34 balls when Babar Azam (13) was caught off an insight edge off Jayasuriya and Sarfaraz Ahmed (17) was adjudged lbw while trying to sweep Jayasuriya as Pakistan were reduced to 101 for five in 20.2 overs.
At that stage, Saud and Shakeel joined hands and have not only repaired the damage but also succeeded in keeping Pakistan alive in the Galle Test.
Earlier, Sri Lanka added 70 runs to their overnight score of 242 for six to be bowled out for 312 in 95.2 overs. Dhananjaya de Silva, who began the day at 94, was out after scoring 122 – his third century against Pakistan – when he became one of the two victims of the day for fast bowler Naseem Shah, who finished with figures of 22-2-90-3.
De Silva batted for just under five hours during which he received 214 balls and struck 12 fours and three sixes. He was the ninth batter to be dismissed at the score of 283 before Vishwa Fernando (21 not out) and Kasun Rajitha displayed their batting skills by adding 29 runs for the last wicket off 49 balls.
Brief score: Sri Lanka 312 (Dhananjaya de Silva 122, Angelo Mathews 64; Abrar Ahmed 3-68) vs Pakistan 221/5 (Saud Shakeel 69*, Agha Salman 61*; Prabath Jayasuriya 3-83).