Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi limit Sri Lanka to 222 runs is news of the day. On the first day of the first Test in Galle, Pakistan bowled aggressively, led by fast bowler Shaheen Afridi, who took four wickets and helped the touring team limit Sri Lanka to 222 runs. Pakistan’s response fell apart when openers Imam-ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique were both out. At that point, Pakistan was down by 198 runs. Even though there was a political and economic crisis at home, the Sri Lankan cricket team went into the match with confidence. Just a few days before, they had tied the two-Test series with Australia by an innings and 39 runs at the same Galle International Stadium.
Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi limit Sri Lanka to 222 runs
When Sri Lanka’s captain Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss, he chose to bat first, even though the pitch would be better for spinners later in the game. Karunaratne was out for one after inside-edging left-armer Afridi onto his stumps. This was a big setback for the home team’s hopes of making a big first innings total.
Kusal Mendis and Oshada Fernando’s 49-run partnership for the second wicket helped Sri Lanka’s batting lineup get off to a good start. However, Pakistan took three wickets for only eight runs, bringing Sri Lanka’s score to 68-4. Yasir Shah, a veteran leg-spinner, came back to the Pakistan team after missing the month of August. He got Mendis and Angelo Mathews out without them scoring a run, and Hasan Ali got Fernando out without him scoring a run.
Dinesh Chandimal, the former captain who hit an unbeaten 206 runs to set up the win over Australia, scored the most runs (76) for the home team, which got over the 200-run line with the help of some tough hitting from the lower order. After Afridi’s heroics brought Sri Lanka’s score down to 133-8, Chandimal and Maheesh Theekshana put on 44 runs for the ninth wicket before Shah caught Chandimal off Hasan.
Theekshana, who scored 38, and Kasun Rajitha, who batted 11th, kept fighting. They added 45 runs to the score, which made the small crowd happy. But Afridi came back and bowled Theekshana out with a low ball to end the partnership.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (vc, wk), Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Salman Ali Agha, Shaheen Afridi and Yasir Shah.
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunartne (c) Oshanda Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Ramesh Mendis, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Prabath Jayasuriya.