SL vs PAK, 1st Test: Sri Lanka’s strong comeback after Shaheen Afridi’s storm, D’Silva and Mathews stuck like a rock

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Gaul: Sri Lanka made a strong comeback from a poor start on the opening day of the first Test against Pakistan. Sri Lanka have scored 242 runs for 6 wickets till the end of the day’s play. For Sri Lanka, Dhananjaya de Silva (94 not out) and former captain Angelo Mathews (64) shared a crucial 131-run partnership for the fifth wicket. Due to rain, only 65.4 overs could be played in the day. Sri Lanka were struggling at 54 for four at one stage but vice-captain De Silva and Mathews used their experience to get the team out of trouble. The partnership was broken by Abrar Ahmed (1/59) before Mathews Broke out Mathews hit nine fours in his 109-ball innings. De Silva then shared a 57-run partnership for the sixth wicket with wicketkeeper Sadeera Samarawickrama (36). Part-time bowler Agha Salman broke the partnership by dismissing Samarawickrama. With the fall of this wicket, the day’s play was called off due to bad light.

De Silva is six runs away from his century. He has so far hit 10 fours and three sixes in his 157-ball innings. Earlier, fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi returned to Test cricket with three wickets as Pakistan rattled Sri Lanka’s top-order. Afridi and Naseem Shah, the two Pakistani fast bowlers, troubled the Sri Lankan batsmen from the start.

Afridi took his 100th wicket in Test cricket by getting opener Nishan Madhushanka (four) caught by wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed. He became the 19th bowler from Pakistan to reach this milestone. Afridi had missed the last one year due to a right knee injury and was stuck on 99 wickets in Test cricket. However, he ended this long wait in the third over itself.

The game had not been played for even half an hour, due to the rain the players had to return to the pavilion. This prevented 87 minutes of play and lunch was pushed back by an hour. At the start of play, Afridi took his second wicket in the form of Kushal Mendis (12) who was caught in the slips. After this, he also showed Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne (29) the way to the pavilion. In the next over, Dinesh Chandimal (one) was caught in the slip off the bowling of Naseem Shah.

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