Recent Match Report – Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 1st Test 2023

Lunch Sri Lanka 312 (Dhananjaya 122, Mathews 64, Abrar 3-68, Afridi 3-86, Naseem 3-90) vs Pakistan

It was more a holding pattern, less a session as Pakistan bowled Sri Lanka out for 312, but not before the latter had added a useful 70 runs with the last four wickets this morning.

Over the course of a slightly turgid morning session, Dhananjaya de Silva stood out. Having been stranded overnight on 94, he was in no rush to snatch at the three-figure mark, taking about half an hour to get to the mark with a whip towards fine leg. Alongside Ramesh Mendis, who was offering doggedness but not many runs, Dhananjaya prioritized survival over quick run-scoring. It was an arrangement Pakistan were content with as the spinners operated on autopilot while they awaited the new ball, and a slash from Ramesh off Abrar Ahmed soon saw the gritty partnership come to an end.

Babar Azam called up Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah for an extended spell with the new ball. Afridi’s pace was up and he found more movement, but it was Naseem who ended up in the wickets, dismissing Prabath Jayasuriya with a short delivery the tailender got a feather to. And when Dhananjaya decided it was time to up the ante, he fell as soon as he played an attacking shot, a mistimed drive over covers caught brilliantly by a scampering Shan Masood. By then, though, he had scored 122, rescuing an innings that badly needed salvaging after the first session yesterday.

Sri Lanka’s Nos. 10 and 11 held Pakistan off much longer than anticipated though, and scored runs while doing it. Kasun Rajitha and Vishwa Fernando added 29 runs for the last wicket on the stroke of lunch, ensuring Sri Lanka crossed 300, and perhaps edging the session in the hosts’ favour.

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