Babar six wickets give Pakistan lead


Zulfiqar Babar scythed through the Sri Lanka Board President’s XI lower order, claiming figures of 6 for 31, as Pakistanis took a seven-run first -innings lead in the three-day practice match in Colombo.


While Babar wreaked havoc at one end, opening batsman Kaushal Silva moved to his 32nd first-class hundred before being undone by Yasir Shah. Jehan Mubarak, Dinesh Chandimal, Milinda Siriwardene and Upul Tharanga all got starts, but failed to cross fifty.

Kaushal had been unbeaten overnight alongside Tharanga, who became the only man to be dismissed by pace on day two, when he was caught behind off Wahab Riaz. Mubarak – who is auditioning for a place in Sri Lanka’s XI for the Galle Test – was bowled for 28 to become Babar’s first victim of the day. Chandimal and Siriwardene also provided brief support to Kaushal, but were both out to Babar as well.

Despite the regular dismissals, the Board XI had seemed likely to surpass the Pakistanis’ total, at 217 for 4. But Siriwardene’s wicket, followed next ball by Niroshan Dickwella’s exit, sparked a collapse that cost six wickets for 24 runs. Babar ran through the tail with a little help from Yasir, who took 2 wickets for 45.

Pakistanis faced 11 overs before stumps were drawn, which was enough time for Mohammad Hafeez to be dismissed for single figures by Nisala Tharaka, for the second time in the match. The visitors ended the day on 27 for 1.