Sri Lanka chip away despite Babar’s resistance
A flurry of wickets late in the morning session reduced Pakistan to 188 for 5 at Lunch on the final day’s play of the second Test, at the Galle International Stadium, on Thursday.
Resuming Day 5 on 89 for 1, Pakistan were dented early as Imam ul Haq looked to cut an arm ball by Ramesh Mendis and ended up getting an inside edge to the ‘keeper, ending his innings on 49.
However, Babar Azam continued his fluent form which he had displayed the previous evening. After being adjudged leg-before early in the day, which was overturned with a review, the Pakistan skipper remained busy in the middle, rotating the strike at ease. He hit only one boundary in the morning en route his half-century, crunching an overpitched delivery from Mendis for a boundary. Even as he stroked only a couple of more boundaries from thereon, he kept the scoreboard moving in the company of Mohammad Rizwan.
The duo added 79 runs for the third wicket before the Rizwan was cleaned up by Jayasuriya on 37. In attempting to play for the turn, the straighter one breached his defence. His dismissal paved the way for a brief collapse as Fawad Alam and Agha Salman followed him to the pavilion soon after.
Fawad pushed a delivery towards mid on and set out for a single while Babar declined the run after initial interest. Agha Salman, on the other end, was undone by a fielding brilliance from Kusal Mendis. Predicting a paddle sweep, Kusal made the initial move and had him caught at the stroke of Lunch.
Babar, who was a spectator to the four wickets in the session from the other end, went to Lunch safely on 76, with a massive task of helping the visitors avoid a defeat.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 378 (Dinesh Chandimal 80, Niroshan Dickwella 51; Naseem Shah 3-58, Yasir Shah 3-83) & 360/8 (Dhananjaya de Silva 109, Angelo Mathews 61; Naseem Shah 2-44, Mohammad Nawaz 2-75) lead Pakistan 231 (Agha Salman 62, Imam ul Haq 32; Ramesh Mendis 5-47, Prabath Jayasuriya 3-80) & 188/5 (Babar Azam 76*, Imam ul Haq 49; Prabath Jayasuriya 3-86) by 319 runs