Pakistan take five wickets in first Test against Sri Lanka

Updated 11 Dec 2019

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Pakistan's Shaheen Shah celebrates with teammates after dismissing Sri Lanka's Dimuth Karunaratne during the first day of the first Test cricket match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi on Dec 11. — AFP
Pakistan's Shaheen Shah celebrates with teammates after dismissing Sri Lanka's Dimuth Karunaratne during the first day of the first Test cricket match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi on Dec 11. — AFP
Sri Lankan batsman Dimuth Karunaratne falls down after a delivery of Pakistani pacer Naseem Shah hitting his neck during the first Test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Rawalpindi on Wednesday Dec 11. — AP
Sri Lankan batsman Dimuth Karunaratne falls down after a delivery of Pakistani pacer Naseem Shah hitting his neck during the first Test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Rawalpindi on Wednesday Dec 11. — AP

Pakistan's bowlers took five wickets before play was ended due to bad light in the first Test match against Sri Lanka at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

The visitors scored 205 runs at 68.1 overs before the day's play was ended.

Naseem Shah showcased a superb performance, taking two wickets while Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Shinwari and Mohammad Usman picked up one each.

Dimuth Karunaratne, the Sri Lankan Test captain, was the highest scorer for the team putting 59 runs on the scoreboard before being sent back to the stands.

After 50 overs, the visitors put 137 runs on the scoreboard for the loss of four wickets.

Earlier, the visitors won the toss and opted to bat first.

The Pindi Cricket Stadium is heavily guarded and spectators had to go through stringent security checks before entering.

Under overcast conditions, only a small crowd made it into the stadium by the time of the toss. The Pindi Cricket Stadium is hosting its first major international match since India played a Test match at the stadium in 2004.

Pakistan are playing four fast bowlers, giving left-arm paceman Usman Shinwari a debut. The all pace attack means the hosts dropped specialist spinner Yasir Shah.

Opening batsman Abid Ali is also making his Test debut in place of Imam-ul-Haq, who struggled against Australia. Middle-order batsman Haris Sohail has been given another opportunity, meaning recalled batsman Fawad Alam has to wait to make his Test comeback after 10 years.

Sri Lanka went with three fast bowlers Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha and Lahiru Kumara. The visitors left out experienced batsman Lahiru Thirimanne and Kusal Perera but went with two spinners — Dhananjaya de Silva and Dilruwan Perera.

The second Test of the series will be played at National Stadium in Karachi from December 19-23.

Ahead of the start of the series, Pakistan's skipper Azhar Ali on Tuesday thanked Sri Lanka for returning to Pakistan for the first Test tour in the country in a decade, after a fatal militant attack on their team in 2009 drove international cricket away.

"It's a historic occasion and all the players are excited to be part of this," Azhar, who has played 75 Tests — but, until now, none at home — said at a press conference in Rawalpindi with his counterpart, Karunaratne.

Line-ups:

Pakistan: Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali (capt.), Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Usman Khan Shinwari, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dilruwan Perera, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara