Abdullah, Salman star as Pakistan take control of second Test

They have a lead of 397 runs against Sri Lanka

By Web Desk
July 26, 2023
Abdullah (L) and Agha (R) dominated proceedings on day three - SLC

Pakistan reached 563-5 at stumps on day three of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Wednesday. 

The visitors lead by 397 runs after dismissing Sri Lanka for 166 in the first innings. 

Opener Abdullah Shafique scored a brilliant double-century to keep Pakistan in control of the Test match. The right-hander scored 201 runs with the help of 19 fours and four sixes.

Abdullah (23y 246d) also became the third-youngest Pakistani player to score a Test double ton after Javed Miandad (19y 140d), and Hanif Mohammad (23y 27d).

Agha Salman also looked in great touch as he scored an unbeaten 132 runs in 148 balls, which included 15 fours and a six. 

Saud Shakeel was dismissed after scoring 57 runs, meanwhile, Sarfaraz Ahmed was retired hurt after a blow to the head, during the second session. The right-hander, who was unbeaten on 14, was struck on the helmet on the first ball he faced.

Sarfaraz was then replaced by Mohammad Rizwan, who is unbeaten on 37, as a concussion substitute.

After scoring a fifty in the first innings of the ongoing second Test, Shakeel became the first-ever batter in history to score a half-century in each of the first seven Tests of their career.

Previously, India’s Sunil Gavaskar, Pakistan’s Saeed Ahmed, West Indies’ Basil Butcher and New Zealand’s Bert Sutcliffe scored half-centuries in each of the first six Tests of their career.

The only wicket to fall in the morning session was that of Pakistan captain Babar Azam, who was trapped in front of the stumps by spinner Prabath Jayasuriya for 39.

Pakistan had resumed their innings on day three at 178-2 with a lead of 12 runs.

Only 10 overs of play was possible on the second day due to heavy downpour.

Pakistan dismissed the hosts in two sessions for only 166 at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground on Monday.

Sri Lanka didn't impress with the bat after captain Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss and decided to bat first.

Naseem Shah (3-41) and Shaheen Afridi (1-44) dented Sri Lanka's top-order as the home side slipped to 36-4.

Dhananjaya de Silva was the top scorer for Sri Lanka with 57 but only two other teammates managed double digits.

Pakistan continued to do well in the field as Shan Masood ran out opener Nishan Madushka and tailender Prabath Jayasuriya with direct throws.

Pakistan scored at a quick rate when they came out to bat.

Opener Imam-ul-Haq scored six before being caught at gully but Shafique added brisk 108-run partnership with Masood (51) to keep the visitors in control.

Asitha Fernando claimed his second wicket when Masood miscued a pull shot.