Rain halts play in Pakistan’s first home Test against Sri Lanka

RAWALPINDI: Rain stopped play on the second day of the first Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka on Thursday, Pakistan’s first home Test in a decade after a deadly attack in 2009.


Resuming at 202-5, Sri Lanka had reached 222-5 in 7.5 overs before the umpires stopped play as rain started to pour heavily at the Rawalpindi stadium.

Dhananjaya de Silva was unbeaten on 54 for his sixth half-century, while Niroshan Dickwella was 15 not out.

The brief period of play was not without incident as 16-year-old pacer Naseem Shah had de Silva caught behind by wicket keeper Mohammad Rizwan, but the third umpire Richard Illingworth ruled the ball had bounced.

Next ball, de Silva took two runs off Naseem — the pick of Pakistan’s bowlers, with 2-65 — to complete his half-century.

Day 1

Teenage pacer Shah, grabbed 2-51 on the opening day of the first Test after Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bat first.

At close de Silva was unbeaten on 38 and Dickwella not out 11 as Sri Lanka spoiled a good 96-run start given by skipper Dimuth Karunaratne (59) and Oshada Fernando (40).

Pakistan struggled for wickets in the first session as Sri Lanka reached 89-0 at lunch.

Shaheen Shah Afridi trapped Sri Lankan skipper Karunaratne leg-before soon after lunch to trigger a collapse which saw the visitors lose four wickets within just 31 runs in the post-lunch session.

Karunaratne hit nine boundaries in his 110-ball knock.

Naseem then had Fernando caught at slip for 40, an innings laced with six boundaries and a six.

It was his first Test wicket after he came away empty-handed from his debut in Brisbane against Australia last month.

He also had Angelo Mathews caught in the slips for 31. Mathews added 62 runs for the fifth wicket with De Silva.

Usman Shinwari also claimed his first wicket when Kusal Mendis edged him to Rizwan for 10, while Mohammad Abbas bowled Dinesh Chandimal for two with a beautiful delivery.

Pakistan, who in a surprise decision left out their key spinner Yasir Shah, had struggled for a breakthrough in the first session.

Shah was the stand-out bowler in the morning as he generated pace, hitting Karunaratne on the helmet in the 19th over.

Sri Lankan skipper, then on 42, fell down but showed no further signs of discomfort, hitting Shaheen Shah Afridi for his eighth boundary to reach his 24th Test fifty.


Pakistan: Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali (captain), Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Rizwan (wicket-keeper), Usman Khan Shinwari, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wicket-keeper), Dilruwan Perera, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha and Lahiru Kumara



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