Pakistan’s pursuit of victory in the first Test against Sri Lanka took an unexpected turn as they stumbled to 48 for 3 while chasing a target of 131 runs. Sri Lanka’s bowlers, led by Prabath Jayasuriya and Ramesh Mendis, made the chase challenging for Pakistan ‘s batsmen with their accurate and turning deliveries. Abdullah Shafique and Shan Masood fell victim to their tactics, leaving Pakistan in a precarious position.
Noman Ali was sent in as the nightwatchman but was dismissed in a comical run-out, leaving Babar Azam to navigate a nervous end to the day’s play. Despite the late wickets, Pakistan managed to prevent any further damage to their batting lineup.
Earlier in the day, Dhananjaya de Silva played a crucial role in Sri Lanka’s fightback. His partnership with Dinesh Chandimal helped them erase the deficit and take a lead. However, Pakistan’s bowlers, particularly Noman and Abrar Ahmed, kept picking up wickets at crucial moments, limiting Sri Lanka’s progress.
Dimuth Karunaratne and Nishan Madushka provided Sri Lanka with a solid start,. But Abrar’s introduction brought an immediate breakthrough as Karunaratne was caught by Salman Ali. Madushka and Kusal Mendis steadied the innings, but Noman’s strikes turned the tide once again. Madushka reached his half-century before falling to Noman, while de Silva and Chandimal continued their attacking approach.
Pakistan’s exceptional catching was evident with Imam-ul-Haq taking a sharp catch at midwicket to dismiss Chandimal. Also, Abdullah Shafique grabbing a one-handed diving catch at short leg to dismiss Sadeera Samarawickrama. Mendis and de Silva held firm for a crucial partnership, but Abrar eventually dismissed Mendis.
In their second innings, Pakistan’s pace bowlers, Shaheen Afridi and Shaheen Shah, made breakthroughs to dismiss Sri Lanka’s batsmen. Dhananjaya’s impressive innings of 82 came to an end, and Pakistan quickly wrapped up the Sri Lankan tail.
Although Pakistan made quick work of Sri Lanka’s batting, their own chase of 131 runs proved to be more challenging than expected. The outcome of the Test match hangs in the balance, reminding everyone that nothing is certain in cricket.