It was a riveting day of play between Sri Lanka and Pakistan on the first day of the 2nd Test match played at National Stadium, Karachi on Thursday. The bowlers ruled the roost on a pitch which had lot of troubles for the batsmen.
Pakistan captain Azhar Ali won the toss and decided to bat first. Abid Ali looked solid with his defensive technique. Vishwa Fernando got the early breakthrough dismissing Shan Masood with a beauty and then dismissed captain Azhar Ali with another beauty to leave Pakistan in trouble at 10 for 2. Abid Ali impressed with his attacking approach and made the batting look easy. Babar Azam survived a LBW shout which was given out by the umpire. Babar decided to review it and the umpire had to reverse his decision. Abid Ali played with confidence and showed his class. As things looked good for Pakistan, Lahiru Kumara produced a stunning delivery to dismiss Abid Ali for 36. Abid and Babar added 55 runs for the 3rd wicket. At the end of first session, Pakistan were 72 for 3.
After the lunch break, Babar Azam continued his attacking approach and made the batting look easy. Babar reached his fifty off 75 balls. As things looked good again for Pakistan, Lasith Embuldenya bowled a good delivery to dismiss Babar for 60. Babar and Asad added 62 runs for the 4th wicket. Haris Sohail and Asad Shafiq attacked the Sri Lankan bowlers with positive approach. At the stroke of tea break, the left arm spinner Embuldenya got the wicket of Haris Sohail for 9. Sohail and Asad added 40 runs for the 5th wicket. At tea break, Pakistan were 171 for 5.
Lahiru Kumara produced beauty deliveries to dismiss Mohammed Rizwan and Yasir Shah in successive balls to derail the Pakistani innings. Asad Shafiq on the other hand reached his fifty off 103 balls. Sri Lanka bowled out Pakistan for 191 in the first innings. Kumara and Embuldenya took 4 wickets each for Sri Lanka.
In reply, Dimuth Karunaratne looked confident with his stroke play. Shaheen Shah Afridi and Abbas troubled Oshando Fernando. Shaheen Shah got the breakthrough for Pakistan dismissing Fernando with a beauty of a delivery on a review. The umpire gave it not out and on a review there was edge with the bat and gave it out. Fernando and Karunaratne added 28 runs for the opening wicket. Mohammed Abbas troubled the Sri Lankan batsmen with swing and seam. He got the Sri Lankan captain Karunaratne which inside edge and went onto the stumps. Kusal Mendis and Mathews survived few anxious moments. Abbas struck again dismissing Mendis to bring back Pakistan into the match. Lasith Embuldenya came as a night watchman and ended the first day’s play at 64 for 3.
Sri Lanka 64 for 3 in 19 overs ( Dimuth Karunaratne 25, Mohammad Abbas 2/21, Shaheen Shah Afridi 1/18) trail Pakistan 191 in 59.3 overs ( Asad Shafiq 63, Babar Azam 60, Lahiru Kumara 4/49, Lasith Embuldenya 4/71) by 127 runs.