Twitter Reactions: Imam-ul-Haq’s fifty helps Pakistan chase down paltry total to win 1st Test against Sri Lanka
Pakistan took a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series against the Lankan Lions.
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Pakistan comfortably clinched the first Test against hosts Sri Lanka by four wickets, at the Galle International Stadium, on Thursday, July 20. In the process, the Babar Azam-led side kickstarted their ICC World Test Championship (2023-25) campaign with a bang and gained a 1-0 lead over the hosts in the two-Test series.
After setting a meagre target of 131 runs, Sri Lanka got three wickets during the chase as Pakistan concluded with 48 runs at the close of Day 4. Prabath Jayasuriya played a pivotal role in getting the three wickets as he sent Abdullah Shafique and Shan Masood packing in quick time for paltry scores of eight and seven runs, respectively. In addition to this, Noman Ali was run out for a duck off seven balls by Jayasuriya which left Pakistan reeling during the chase.
On the final day of the contest, opener Imam-ul-Haq remained solid at the crease and raised important stands with skipper Babar Azam and Saud Shakeel to keep his side steady in the chase. Imam combined with Babar to stitch a breezy 45-ball 41-run partnership.
However, the skipper failed to stick too long at the crease as Jayasuriya trapped him for an LBW thereby sending him back to the pavilion for 24 off 28 balls which featured five boundaries. Imam further added a 43-run partnership with Saud Shakeel before the latter was dismissed for 30 off 38 balls, cracking six fours.
Meanwhile, Jayasuriya claimed a magnificent four-wicket haul for just 56 runs in his 14.5 overs at a stellar economy of 3.77. Despite the veteran Lankan spinner’s brilliant outing with the ball, Imam’s well-built fifty off 84 balls helped Pakistan see through to the finish line in the first game of the series. Impressively, it was Agha Salman's first ball of the chase that he slammed a maximum to win the game for his side.
Imam’s unbeaten knock featured four boundaries and a solitary maximum. Furthermore, Saud Shakeel was adjudged player of the match for his unbeaten 208 runs in the first innings. Pakistan sealed their first Test win exactly after a year as their last win came in Galle, on July 20, 2022.
Here is how Twitter reacted to Pakistan's win against Sri Lanka in the first Test-
With this victory, Pakistan become the most successful visiting team playing in Sri Lanka. This is Pakistan’s 10th win against Sri Lanka in their own backyard, most by any team in the world #CricketTwitter #PAKvSL #SLvPAK pic.twitter.com/rz2VWAoej9— Azeem Siddiqui (@aze3msiddiqui) July 20, 2023
Saud Shakeel is averaging 100.12 and 802* runs in 12 innings so far in Test Cricket:— Shaharyar Ejaz 🏏 (@SharyOfficial) July 20, 2023
•One Double Hundred
What a way To Start his Career, Saud Shakeel; take a Bow🔥♥️.#PAKvsSL #PAKvSL #SLvPAK #SaudShakeel pic.twitter.com/uQpFce25sm
A good performance from Pakistan. The batters tried to be positive and didn't let the opposition bowlers settle, the bowlers kept plugging away and took wickets at key times, some excellent catches and Babar Azam led the team well #SLvPAK #Cricket— Saj Sadiq (@SajSadiqCricket) July 20, 2023
Pakistan match jeet Gaya. Ager 50 runs aur hoty to har jaty jaisy batting ki hai. #SLvPAK— 𝔸𝕞𝕛𝕒𝕕 𝔾𝕠𝕟𝕕𝕒𝕝 (@ai_gondal) July 20, 2023
Pak is off to a great start in this current WTC cycle. Well fought, boys! Particular credit for this victory goes to the outstanding and aggressive captaincy of @babarazam258 👑❤️.#PAKvSL #SLvPAK pic.twitter.com/ZH6weGTghZ— Zeshan Haider (@SyedZeshan56) July 20, 2023