Ahmed Shehzad and Younis Khan scored fifties but there were ominous signs for Pakistan ahead of the first Test against Sri Lanka as Misbah-ul-Haq’s side folded for 247 against Sri Lanka Board President’s XI, losing 7 seven wickets to spin at the Colts Cricket Club Ground in Colombo on Thursday.
Winning the toss and batting first in the only practice match before the first Test on the June 17, Pakistan struggled to get away in the face of top quality leg-spin by 25-year-old Jeffrey Vandersay. Shehzad (82) and Younis (64) were rewarded for the positive intent they showed and the ease with which they used their feet to counter the turning deliveries.
Captain Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez and ODI captain Azhar Ali failed to put up anything substantial and proceedings on the first day of the 3-day match is likely to have left veteran Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath, Pakistan’s chief tormentor, raring to go when the first Test starts.
At stumps, the Board XI were 44 for 1, after Junaid Khan had trapped Dimuth Karunaratne in front second ball.
Pakistan will play three Tests, five one-day internationals and two Twenty20s on their 53-day tour of Sri Lanka.