Abu Dhabi, September 28
Opener Dimuth Karunaratne fell seven runs short of a well-deserved century as he anchored Sri Lanka’s fightback on the opening day of the first Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. The left-hander was run out for 93 but helped his team recover from a precarious 61/3 to reach 227/4 at close of play after Sri Lanka elected to bat on a greenish Sheikh Zayed Stadium pitch.
Karunaratne shared an invaluable 100-run partnership with skipper Dinesh Chandimal, who was 60 not out, as Pakistan failed to break through with the second new ball. Niroshan Dickwella was unbeaten on 42, having added 66 runs for the unbroken fifth-wicket stand with the captain.
Pakistan wrested the advantage in the first session with leg-spinner Yasir Shah picking up two wickets, dismissing left-hander Lahiru Thirimanne for his 150th Test wicket. Shah matched fellow countryman Waqar Younis as the joint second fastest to 150 wickets — both achieving the milestone in their 27th Test. Australia’s Sydney Barnes holds the record of reaching the landmark in just 24 Tests.
However, Karunaratne’s knock brought Sri Lanka back into the game in the last two sessions. He batted for four hours and 40 minutes, recording his fourth half-century against Pakistan and sixth overall. He was run out in the last session as he attempted a quick single, only to be left stranded after Chandimal at the non-striker’s end sent him back. — AFP
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 227/4 (Karunaratne 93, Chandimal 60*; Shah 2/59) v Pakistan
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