The spin duo of Abrar Ahmed and Noman Ali claimed three wickets apiece, while Agha Salman took two, as Pakistan bowled out Sri Lanka for 279 on day four of the first Test at the Galle International Stadium. This impressive performance has palced the visitors in a position to win the match.
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By the end of the day’s play, spinner Prabath Jayasuriya had taken two wickets, leaving Pakistan at 48 for three, as they chase a target of 131. Captain Babar Azam and opener Imam-ul-Haq remained unbeaten on six and 25 runs, respectively. Pakistan required 83 more runs on Thursday to claim a 1-0 lead in the two-game series.
In Sri Lanka’s first innings, Dhananjaya de Silva had scored 122, and in the second innings, he followed up with an impressive 82 from 118 balls, embellished with 10 fours and two sixes. He found support from Nishan Madushka, who contributed a 52 off 115 balls, including seven fours and a six. Additionally, Ramesh Mendis scored 42 off 79 balls with three fours and a six.
On day four, Sri Lanka made a promising start, reaching 42 without losing any wickets. However, their momentum dwindled as Dimuth Karunaratne fell to Abrar. Subsequently, Kusal Mendis was trapped lbw by Noman, and Angelo Mathews was dismissed quickly, with the hosts reaching 91 for three by lunch.
After the break, Pakistan continued to take wickets, with Noman dismissing Madushka caught behind. Dhananjaya and Chandimal then put together a partnership of 60 runs off 97 balls for the fifth wicket before Chandimal was dismissed by Salman for 28. Shortly after, Sadeera Samarawickrama was also out.
Dhananjaya and Ramesh formed a significant 76-run partnership for the seventh wicket, propelling Sri Lanka’s lead beyond 100. However, after tea, Abrar trapped Ramesh lbw, and with the second new ball, Shaheen Shah Afridi removed Dhananjaya and Jayasuriya. Abrar wiped out Sri Lanka’s innings for 279 by dismissing Kasun Rajitha, with the hosts losing their last four wickets for just 28 runs.
In their chase of 131, Abdullah Shafique (8) and Shan Masood (7) were quickly dismissed by Jayasuriya, with Shafique burning a review in the process. Nightwatchman Noman Ali was run-out for a duck after facing seven balls at the non-striker’s end. However, Azam and Imam managed to avoid any further setbacks until stumps were called.