Dinesh Chandimal descended with the rousing form that destroyed Australia few days ago with his second Test double ton when he struck a cameo 76 off 115 balls to rescue Sri Lanka from a perilous 80 for 4 to 222 on the opening day of the World Test Championship first Test against Pakistan at the Galle International Stadium on Saturday.
Apparently, the 32-year old former captain dented in his characteristic phased out run grafting by the given situation, unleashed a knock in the given situation showcased with 10 boundaries and a six after Pakistan’s three-pronged attack of Shaeen Shah Afridi 4 for 58, Hasan Ali 2 for 23 and Yasir Shah had sent back Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne for 1, Angelo Mathews for a 14-ball duck, Kusal Mendis for 21, Oshada Fernando 39,.Ramesh Mendis for 11, Niroshan Dickwella for 4 and Dhananjaya de Silva for 28.
The Lankan slide was sparked by the double blows of losing Kusal Mendis and Oshada Fernando in the space of three balls after the second-wicket pair had hit through the Pakistan attack in adding a fast paced 49 after Karunaratne had fallen with the score 11. It was also to the credit of No. 10 Maheesh Theekshana who kept the Pakistani attack at bay scoring a 65-ball 38 scattering the fielders with 4 boundaries and one over the top to good effect. He shared in a an admirable last-wicket partnership of 45 runs with Kasun Rajitha who was unbeaten on a game 12 off 32.
That final score did ultimately look proportionate when Pakistan both openers were removed by Prabath Jayasuriya and Kasun Rajitha as the visitors closed shop with Azhar Ali labouring on 3 off 38 and skipper Babar Azam on 1. Abdullah Shafique was trapped leg before wicket for13 by Jayasuriya and Rajitha rounded off by also rapping Imam-ul-Haq LBW by getting one to nip back from around the wicket by a trademark delivery.
CHIEF SCORES: Sri Lanka 222 (60.1 Overs) (Dinesh Chandimal 76, Oshada Fernando 38, Maheesh Theekshana 38, Dhananjaya de Silva 28, Kusal Mendis 21, Kasun Rajitha n.o. 12, Shaseen Shah Afridi 4/58, Hasan Ali 2/23, Yasir Shah 2/66) Pakistan 24/2 (18 Overs) (Azhar Ali n.o. 3, Babar Azam n.o. 1, Prabath Jayasuriya 1/2, Kasun Rajitha 1/11).