COLOMBO (AP): Pakistan’s new aggressive approach paid dividends as it bowled out Sri Lanka for 166 before racing to 145-2 in reply on day one of the second cricket test on Monday.
Pakistan, 1-0 up in the two-match series, was in complete control despite losing the toss and made to field first at the Sinhalese Sports Club. At one stage, the tourists were scoring at 6.5 runs an over, with the 50 coming up in 50 balls and the 100 arriving in 101 deliveries.
Abdullah Shafique needed only 49 deliveries to reach his fifth test half-century while Shan Masood raced to his seventh half-century in just 44 balls.
Asitha Fernando claimed the first Pakistan wicket, removing Imam-ul-Haq for 6, and his second spell got Masood caught at wide mid-on for 51. Shafique, who was dropped by Prabath Jayasuriya off his own bowling on 42, reached 74 not out at stumps, with captain Babar Azam unbeaten on 8.
Earlier, leg-spinner Abrar Ahmed took 4-69 and fast bowler Naseem Shah claimed 3-41 as Sri Lanka was skittled out by a Pakistan side bowling with aggressive fields.
“We expected to bat better than this,” Sri Lanka batting coach Naveed Nawaz said.
“The SSC is a wicket where you can make lots of runs once you get a start. Their field settings were good and tempted the batters and we made the wrong choices. It’s a matter of poor execution.”
Opening batsman Nishan Madushka was run out for 4 in the third over. Captain Dimuth Karunaratne pushed the ball into the covers and attempted a single but Masood threw down the stumps with a direct hit.
Pakistan was excellent in the field and Masood also ran out tailender Jayasuriya with a direct hit, but the damage for Sri Lanka was done in the morning session when it slumped to 36-4.
Sri Lanka was guilty of throwing away wickets. Kusal Mendis hit one straight to cover on 6, Angelo Mathews was caught behind for 9 and Karunaratne dragged the ball onto the stumps after attempting an expansive drive on 17.
An 85-run stand for the fifth wicket steadied the innings before Dinesh Chandimal, who had been peppered by short bowling, hit Naseem straight to mid-wicket on 34. Dhananjaya de Silva, who shared the big partnership with Chandimal, top-scored with 57 before falling to Abrar.
“The pitch is good to bat on so we are pleased to have bowled them out for 166,” Naseem said. An hour’s play was lost in the morning due to rain and 13 overs were lost in the day.