Pakistan take control despite cautious Sri Lanka start.
Upon returning to Test cricket, Kaushal Silva and Lahiru Thirimanne provided reminders of why they had been dropped in the first place, before Kusal Mendis was also dismissed in the last over before lunch. Sri Lanka’s batsmen had no one to blame but themselves. The Abu Dhabi pitch was green tinged, but provided no substantial assistance to Pakistan’s quicks, nor to legspinner Yasir Shah. Yet, there the visitors were, 61 for 3 at the break.
Kaushal Silva’s first intent seems to be leave deliveries outside off instead of looking for runs. On occasions, it could lead to trouble and that is what exactly happened on Day 1 of the first Test against Pakistan as he tried to offer a lifted bat to Hasan only to edge it back onto the stumps. Hasan Ali handed Pakistan the first breakthrough of the session.
Leg-spinner Yasir Shah tore into the Sri Lankan top-order batting during the first session of the first Test at Abu Dhabi, becoming the fastest Pakistani to bag 150 Test wickets. With two wickets during the opening session, Shah broke Waqar Younis’ record to achieve the feat, slowing down Sri Lanka after Dinesh Chandimal won the toss and opted to bat first.
Dinesh Chandimal and Karunaratne stonewalled the pair of Yasir and Amir with solid defence. The duo has been intent on defending everything. It is perhaps time for both of them to break the shackles by looking for runs.. Karunaratne showcased the virtues of patience and perseverance in Abu Dhabi to compose a gritty fifty. On occasions, he found himself in trouble against Yasir and the pacers but the gutsy right-hander was able to bide his time and compile a fine fifty.