PAK v SL, 1st Test, Day 2, Review: Visitors hold advantage courtesy Dinesh Chandimal 155

PAK v SL, 1st Test, Day 2, Review: Visitors hold advantage courtesy Dinesh Chandimal 155

The skipper brought up a magnificent century, his 9th in the longest format.

Dinesh Chandimal
Dinesh Chandimal of Sri Lanka celebrates reaching his century during Day Two of the First Test between Pakistan. (Photo Source: Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

Sri Lanka drove home the advantage thanks to the terrific innings from Dinesh Chandimal as they posted a formidable total of 419 in the first innings on a wearing pitch. In reply, Pakistan has started strongly as their openers, Sami Aslam and Shan Masood, played cautiously to end the second day of an intriguing Test on 64/0. While the former is playing on 31 with four boundaries, the latter is looking solid on 30. The pitch is turning and the hosts would like to reach close to the total of Sri Lanka soon.

Earlier, Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella continued their overnight partnership as the wicketkeeper-batsman thumped his authority over the bowlers of the opposition. But the hero of the Champions Trophy, Hasan Ali bowled a wonderful delivery which nipped off the seam and Dickwella played on. He scored a wonderful 83 off just 117 balls and the knock was studded with 9 fours and a solitary six.

Meanwhile, the skipper brought up a magnificent century, his 9th in the longest format. He looked a class apart throughout his stay in the middle and carried the burden of the middle order on his shoulders in the absence of Angelo Mathews.

Pakistan hit back with quick wickets

The wicket of Dickwella opened up one end but Dilruwan Perera found his mojo after a slow start and continued frustrating Pakistan with his captain. Both added a crucial 92 runs for 6th wicket and dashed the hopes of the hosts to restrict them under 350. However, Perera lost his concentration and lost his wicket to the part-timer and the debutant Haris Sohail. He scored a valuable 33 and assisted Chandimal very nicely.

However, at the score of 387/6, it appeared that Sri Lanka would reach 500. But Mohammad Abbas found his line and length at the right time and scalped quick wickets of the tail-enders and Yasir Shah snaffled Ranganathan Herath. Suranga Lakmal and Lakshan Sandakan were pinned in front and Nuwan Pradeep was castled by Abbas as they were folded on 419 soon after tea.

Chandimal, the skipper was left reeling on 155 off a whopping 372 balls as he crossed the fence 14 times. None of the bowlers could breach his defence and went back to the hut for a well-deserved standing ovation. Sri Lanka was struggling at 61/3 at one stage and it took a special effort from him as they posted a mammoth 419. He was well supported by Dimuth Karunaratne and Dickwella as both missed their centuries by a whisker.

Mohammad Abbas was the pick of the bowlers for the hosts as he kept bowling in the channel of uncertainty and picked 3 wickets. Yasir Shah looked ordinary today after scalping a couple of early wickets on the first day.

Hasan Ali too bowled decently but things could have been better for them if the lead bowler Mohammad Amir would have been amongst wickets. Pakistan would love to bat big now as the wicket has started to wear down and Herath will be the biggest threat for them.

If they manage to keep him at bay, then the visitors might have a long day on the field on Saturday. But if they allow the wily spinner and the off-spinner in Dilruwan Perera to bowl at them, then Sri Lanka would be all over them in the very first session on day 3.

Brief Scores:

Sri Lanka: 419 all out (Dinesh Chandimal 155*, Dimuth Karunaratne 93; Yasir Shah 3/120, Mohammad Abbas 3/79)

Pakistan: 64/0 (Shan Masood 30*, Sami Aslam 31*)