lunch Sri Lanka 65 for 4 (Karunaratne 29, Afridi 3-28) vs. Pakistan
Before an 85-minute rain delay, the highlight of the morning session saw Afridi claim his 100th Test scalp, a year after his last Test – that too in Galle. Nishan Madushka was the batsman with dubious respect, tentatively pushing the pitch on and seamed, a thick edge by a diving Sarfaraz Ahmed who took it well behind the stumps.
That wicket came in Afridi’s second over, as opposed to his traditional first-over breakthrough, but in the first over after the rain break he took control of the second innings, pitching Gusal Mendis at middle and leg and leaving him to seam. , edge conveniently bag through the second slip.
As if Afridi – though not as articulate as he once was – mustered enough movement to field a series of questions from the opposition, it would open the floodgates. Right-handed batsmen were the ones he enjoyed bowling the most, constantly sowing uncertainty with a nagging off-stump line. Batters, unsure whether the ball was going to come back in or go away, were often forced to play, or to be impeccable in their judgment when getting out.
Among the Sri Lankan batsmen, left-arm batsman Dimuth Karunaratne was unsurprisingly the most successful, although his control percentage of 85 speaks to some tense moments. As he released his bat in the air after Naseem Shah ducked the bouncer, the ball deflected safely off the back of the bat towards fine leg and got a thick edge on a drive that raced through empty backward point for four runs. region.
But he couldn’t handle Afridi’s sheer power – even though he was dismissed on one of the less efficient deliveries – a length ball down leg – and gave Sarfaraz a faint shout.
Naseem, who toiled with little reward, once again got into the act with the slips, this time Babar Azam took a sharp chance to his left at third slip. It was dangerous as Sri Lanka were 54 for 4 before Mathews and Dhananjaya stopped things somewhat.
In terms of weather, it’s not a very promising forecast, with more rain expected later in the day and indeed the rest of Destin.
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