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

Lunch Sri Lanka 65 for 4 (Karunaratne 29, Afridi 3-28) vs Pakistan

Shaheen Shah Afridi returned to the Test fold in grand style, rifling through Sri Lanka’s top order on a rain-affected extended morning session in Galle. The hosts, who had chosen to bat, would head out for lunch on 65 for 4, with Angelo Mathews and Dhananjaya de Silva at the crease.

Prior to the 85-minute rain delay, the highlight of the morning session had been Afridi grabbing his 100th Test scalp, a year on from his last Test – also in Galle. Nishan Madushka was the batter with the dubious honour, pushing tentatively at one that pitched on off and seamed away, with a thick edge being taken well by a diving Sarfaraz Ahmed behind the stumps.

That wicket came in Afridi’s second over, as opposed to his traditional first over breakthrough, but he would grab his second of the innings in the first over after the rain break, squaring up Kusal Mendis with one that pitched on middle and leg and seamed away, the edge comfortably pouched by second slip.

That would open up the proverbial flood gates, as Afridi – while not as express as he once was – still extracted enough movement to ask persistent questions of the opposition. It was the right-hand batters that he enjoyed bowling to the most, consistently sowing uncertainty with a nagging off stump line. The batters, unsure as to whether the ball would come back in or seam away, were forced to play more often than not, or be immaculate in their judgement when leaving.

Of the Sri Lankan batters, it was unsurprisingly the left-hand batter Dimuth Karunaratne who had the most success, though his control percentage of 85 speaks towards a few nervy moments. Notably when he left his bat in the air after ducking a Naseem Shah bouncer, the ball deflecting safely towards fine leg off the back of the bat, and also getting a thick edge on a drive that ran away for four through the vacant backward-point region.

But even he could not withstand the sheer force that was Afridi – even if his dismissal came off one of the less effective deliveries, a length ball down leg – as he gloved a faint tickle through to Sarfaraz.

Naseem, who had toiled with little reward, would then get in on the act, with the slips in action once more, this time Babar Azam taking a sharp chance to his left at third slip after Dinesh Chandimal edged an attempted drive. This would leave Sri Lanka precariously poised on 54 for 4 before Mathews and Dhananjaya steading matters somewhat.

In terms of the weather, it’s not the most promising of forecasts, with more rain expected over the course of the day and indeed the rest of the Test.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *