Pakistan would need to make a Galle International Stadium record fourth innings chase if they are to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match ICC World Test Championship series against Sri Lanka. The hosts finished day-three of the first Test of the series at 329 for nine in their second innings – an overall lead of 333 runs.
According to information made available here, the highest total chased at Galle is Sri Lanka’s 268 (2019) and Pakistan are set to have a big fight on their hands when they start their second innings – fourth innings of the match. No team has ever chased a 300 plus total at the venue. Resuming their second innings at the overnight score of 36 for one (40-run lead), Sri Lanka lost night watchman Kasun Rajitha (7) with the addition of a mere five runs to the total.
Opener Oshada Fernando was joined by Kusal Mendis, the two kept the scoreboard moving in their enterprising 91-run third-wicket stand. Sri Lanka took lunch at 132 for two, Fernando departed immediately after lunch to Yasir Shah with Babar Azam taking a fine catch in the slips. The right-hander hit six fours and one six in his 64 off 125 balls. The experienced Angelo Mathews (9) failed for the second time in the match as he was dismissed by Nawaz.
Mendis was sent packing by a brilliant Yasir leg-spinner that pitched outside the leg-stump and hit the top of the off-stump, Mendis’ struck nine fours in his 76 off 126 balls. Dhananjaya de Silva (20) added 40 runs for the sixth-wicket with Dinesh Chandimal before falling to Yasir.
Wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella (12) was bowled by Nawaz, however the hosts continued to score at a brisk rate and reached 257 for seven at tea – a lead of 261. Nawaz dismissed Ramesh Mendis (22) to register his first Test five-for – this is his first Test appearance in six years. Hasan Ali accounted for Maheesh Theekshana (11) after he had added 41 runs for the ninth-wicket with Chandimal.
The in-form Chandimal who had top-scored with 76 in Sri Lanka’s first innings was unbeaten on 86 (121 balls, five fours, two sixes) when stumps were drawn for the day. The middle-order batter has so far added 21 runs in the unbroken tenth-wicket stand with Prabath Jayasuria who is unbeaten on four. For Pakistan, besides Nawaz’s brilliance with the ball, Yasir took three for 122 while Hasan captured one wicket.
SCORES IN BRIEF
SRI LANKA 222 all out, 66.1 overs (Dinesh Chandimal 76, Maheesh Theekshana 38; Shaheen Shah Afridi 4-58, Hasan Ali 2-23) and 329 for 9, 96 overs (Dinesh Chandimal 86 not out, Kusal Mendis 76, Oshada Fernando 64; Mohammad Nawaz 5-88, Yasir Shah 3-122) vs PAKISTAN 218 all out, 90.5 overs (Babar Azam 119; Prabath Jayasuria 5-82, Ramesh Mendis 2-18).