SL vs PAK, Second Test, Day 1 Review: Day belonged to Pakistan's Abrar Ahmed, and Abdullah Shafique as Pakistan dominate against Sri Lanka
Abrar's mystery spin with 4 wickets and Shafique's unbeaten 74 puts Pakistan in the driving seat on Day 1 against Sri Lanka.
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Pakistan took control on the opening day of the second Test against Sri Lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club, in Colombo. After winning the toss and opting to bat, Sri Lanka found themselves in deep trouble early on, losing four wickets for just 36 runs. Naseem Shah's exceptional bowling, making the new ball talk, was instrumental in Pakistan's early success.
Dhananjaya De Silva and Dinesh Chandimal managed to build a partnership of 85 runs, but the rest of the Sri Lankan batting lineup failed to make an impact. Abrar Ahmed, Pakistan's mystery spinner, showcased his magical skills with the ball and claimed four wickets. Sri Lanka was eventually bowled out for 166 within two sessions.
In response, Pakistan faced an early setback when they lost Imam ul Haq early in their innings. However, Abdullah Shafique and Shan Masood's partnership proved to be a solid one. Both batters displayed positive strokeplay and kept the pressure on Sri Lankan bowlers. Sri Lanka missed a couple of opportunities, failing to take a review for lbw against Masood, and dropping Shafique’s catch.
While Masood fell shortly after scoring a half-century, Shafique continued to impress and reached his own fifty. He survived a nervy moment with the help of a successful review against an lbw call. At the close of play, Pakistan trailed by just 21 runs, and Shafique remained unbeaten at 74.
As Day 1 concluded due to bad light, both Babar Azam and Abdullah Shafique will resume Pakistan's innings on Day 2. Pakistan's skipper, Babar Azam, will be eager to secure a rare 2-0 Test series whitewash against the hosts after their thrilling four-wicket victory in the first Test at Galle.
The stage is set for an intriguing day two as Pakistan will be aiming to extend its dominance, and Sri Lanka will look to make a strong comeback to level the series. Cricket fans are in for a treat as both teams battle it out for supremacy in the longer format of the game.
Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Colombo, 24 July 2023
Sri Lanka 166/10 (48.4 overs: Dhananjaya de Silva 57 (68), Chandimal 34 (60); Fernando 2/41)
Pakistan 145-2 (28.3 overs: Shafique 74* (99), Masood 51 (47); Abrar 4/69, Naseem 3/41)
Pakistan trail Sri Lanka by 21 runs