Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Chandimal's brilliance gives Sri Lanka control. Chandimal finished unbeaten on 86.
Chandimal finished unbeaten on 86.
Dinesh Chandimal (86*) continued his rich vein of form to put Sri Lanka in pole position in the Galle Test versus Pakistan; the hosts led by 333 runs when stumps were drawn.
When the players made their way to the middle for the last session of the day, the visitors would have hoped to wrap up the innings quickly. Just that Chandimal stitched key stands with the lower order batters – Maheesh Theekshana and Prabath Jayasuriya – to frustrate Pakistan. Theekshana, who also hung around in the first innings to put on a vital stand with Chandimal, generally used a good stride to stonewall the spin duo of Mohammad Nawaz and Yasir Shah.
Meanwhile, Chandimal reached his 23rd fifty in Test cricket in the 79th over. The middle order batter farmed the strike well and sprinkled it with the occasional straight drive off Naseem Shah. Eventually, Hasan Ali struck with the second new ball by forcing Theekshana to edge one behind. Chandimal then decided to hit top gear by paddle sweeping and hoicking Yasir across the line. He even brought out the reverse sweep to disrupt Yasir's length.
After remaining on zero for a while, Jayasuriya pulled Yasir into the boundary hoardings. At that stage, the umpires decided the light wasn't good enough to continue play for the day. In contrast to the final session, Yasir bowled with exemplary control and extracted considerable turn to trouble the Sri Lankan batters and pick up crucial wickets in the afternoon.
After the lunch break, the leg-spinner started on the right note by luring Oshada Fernando to play a drive, only for the set batter to edge one to the slip fielder. Despite losing his batting partner, Kusal Mendis continued to play with a degree of freedom and completed his fifty. Just when it seemed as if Angelo Mathews and Mendis were set to share a stand of substance, the latter fell to a sharp catch by Babar at slip off Nawaz. Mendis was dislodged on the back of a peach from Yasir that pitched outside leg and rattled the off-stump.
Yasir then castled Dhananjaya de Silva with the skidder. Nawaz too chipped in by removing the Sri Lanka wicketkeeper, Niroshan Dickwella. Right after the tea break, Nawaz removed Ramesh Mendis to pick up his maiden first five-for in Test cricket.
Earlier in the day, Mendis and Fernando had held Sri Lanka's innings together after they lost the nightwatchman Kasun Rajitha early. Initially, both Fernando and Mendis looked to deal in singles and twos before Mendis essayed the cut stroke off Nawaz to put pressure on the left-arm spinner. Fernando also decided to press the accelerator as he essayed a sublime lofted shot down the ground off Yasir. He soon brought up his fifty with a single off Yasir, and in the company of Mendis steered the side to safer waters.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 222 and 329/9 (Dinesh Chandimal 86*, Kusal Mendis 76; Mohammad Nawaz 5-88) lead Pakistan 218 (Babar Azam 119; Prabath Jayasuriya 5-82) by 333 runs.