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Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st Test – 5 talking points

Here are five talking points from the first day, which offered no great entertainment to the fans barring the last 7-8 overs.

Yasir Shah of Pakistan
Yasir Shah of Pakistan. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

Sri Lanka is off to a decent start in the first Test against Pakistan as their batsmen managed to face the heat with greay amount of resilience. The bowlers, especially Yasir Shah, were outstanding but they failed to reap the benefits they deserved. The Lankans approach was very defensive and scoring just over 2.5 an over is quite unusual these days.

After winning the toss and batting first, the new ball bowlers bowled decent lengths but their lines let them down. They kept bowling outside the off-stump and the Lankan openers Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva kept leaving the ball. It took them 17 overs to get their first wicket and that’s quite a long period considering how well they have bowled.

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Karunaratne registered a half-century whilst Lahiru Thirimanne and Kusal Mendis walked back without contributing much. Dinesh Chandimal, the skipper, joined the act and they frustrated the bowlers with their approach. Karunaratne fell just short of his hundred and the skipper completed his half-century before the day finished.

The visitors offered absolutely nothing and to bowlers to capitalize on and though they finished the day losing just 4 wickets, Pakistan currently is at the top. Here are five talking points from the first day, which offered no great entertainment to the fans barring the last 7-8 overs where Dickwella scored some quick runs.

1. Karunaratne’s run out

Miscommunication whilst you are batting on 93 is the last thing you want. Karunaratne came down the track and clipped the ball to mid-on. He called for a quick single but Chandimal turns his back at him and both batters were almost near the bowlers end. Abbas at mid-on inflicted one of the easiest run outs ever as Karunaratne walked back dejected scoring a hard-fought 93.

2. Unfortunate Yasir Shah

It’s often disappointing when a bowler throws everything he can but doesn’t get the rewards he deserve. Yasir Shah tried everything, the flippers, googlys and the orthodox wrist spin off the pads of right handers, but he could manage just two wickets. He managed to bamboozle the batsmen on numerous occasions but the Lankans were lucky enough to get away. He registered figures of

3. Karunaratne and Chandimal’s partnership

This pair batted for over 40 overs to register a 100-run fourth-wicket stand. The effort was really commendable as it wasn’t getting easy to face Yasir Shah and the other fast bowlers. Both these players showed great perseverance and this helped Sri Lanka stay alive in the game. Though the scoring rate was not very great, it was a decent effort from these players to ensure Pakistan didn’t run away with the game.

4. Pakistan use 7 bowlers

Pakistani bowlers were spectacular on the day, but Sri Lanka’s resistance got the better of them. Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed was very frustrated as wickets didn’t fall at regular intervals. This made him try 7 bowlers on the day and that’s very unsusual considering they had Yasir Shah, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali and Mohammad Abbas, the four frontline bowlers. Shan Masood and Asad Shafiq rolled their arms for an over each whilst Haris Sohail got four overs.

5. Dickwella ups the ante

A day which progressed so boringly from a fan’s perspective, was brought to life by Niroshan Dickwella, who took on the bowlers and scored runs a little quickly. There was a while when people felt they wouldn’t get to the 200 mark on day 1, but thanks to his 42 off 63 balls, Sri Lanka finished with a decent 227/4 in 90 overs. Chandimal and Dickwella added 66 runs for the 5th wicket and if they can post anything more then 320-330, they’ll be very much in the hunt.

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