RAWALPINDI            -          Rain continues to deprive locals and world cricket of watching historic Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka here at Pinidi Cricket Stadium.

So far only 91.5 overs match was possible in three days. Sri Lanka managed to score 282-6 as heavy rain only allowed 18.2 overs match on the second day and rain continued to fall right throughout the Thursday night and it stopped in the wee hours of Friday morning. The pitch and entire ground was covered with covers while bad light and wet outfield were the main reasons behind delay in the third day’s play.

The umpires examined the pitch in the morning and it was decided another inspection would be held at 11:30am. The floodlights were fully functional while sucking machine and other available tools were fully utilised by the Pakistan Cricket Board and Pindi Ground administration. Hats off to the ground staff, who did a fantastic job by completely drying the ground before 12:00pm.

After second inspection, it was decided that the third day’s play will start at 1:10. After Friday prayers, as lunch break took place at 12:00 till 1:10pm. The match finally resumed and overnight pair of Silva and Dilruwan Perera were at the crease. Silva was batting at the overnight score of 76 while Perera was at 6. Shaeen Shan and young pace sensation Naseem Shah bowled with lot of venom and fire and were troubling both the batsmen, as overcast conditions were helping both the seamers.

But despite troubling Lankan batsmen, both the bowlers failed to take any breakthrough. After only 5.2 overs, the umpires offered light to Lankan batsmen, who walked off from the pitch. In 5.2 overs, Sri Lankan batsmen managed to add 19 runs. Silva was unbeaten at 87 while Perera’s individual score was 6.

Although the spectators were not in huge numbers from the early morning because of bad weather, yet the youngsters were ever present at the venue with Pakistani flags. They fully enjoyed the practice sessions of Pakistani or Sri Lankan players, who also gave them autograph and had selfies with them.  Unlike the first day, when media centre was presenting fish market look, the PCB media team headed by Director Media Sami-ul-Hasan and Shakeel Khan, Syed Nazeer, Suliman Azhar, Shawaiz and others not only ensured complete calm but also remained present there to ensure working journalists keep on performing their official duties without any trouble. The Sri Lankan sports journalists were also satisfied rather glad with the facilities and atmosphere provided to them by the organizers.

Sri Lankan captain Karunaratne missed the trick, as he should have declared the innings at overnight score and let his bowlers to have a go at the Pakistani batsmen. He had more than handy runs on the board and batting in such conditions was never easy for any batsmen, especially Pakistani batsmen are known strugglers. In case, full fourth day’s play is possible, Sri Lankan’s can still surprise Pakistani batsmen, as once again forecast is about heavy rain, but it depends whether Sri Lankan team wants to go for a victory or they are contented with 20 ICC Test Championship points, which would be allocated to both teams in case of draw.

 

Scorecard

SRI LANKA 1ST INNINGS:

(OVERNIGHT: 263-6):

Dimuth Karunaratne lbw b Shaheen 59

Oshada Fernando c Haris b Naseem 40

Kusal Mendis c Rizwan b Usman 10

Angelo Mathews c Asad b Naseem 31

Dinesh Chandimal b Abbas 2

Dhananjaya de Silva not out 72

Niroshan Dickwella c Babar b Shaheen 33

Dilruwan Perera not out 2

D de Silva not out 87

N Dickwella c Babar b Shaheen Afridi 33

D Perera not out 6

EXTRAS: (b 5, lb 6, nb 3) 14

TOTAL: (6 wkts, 91.5 overs) 282

FOW: 1-96, 2-109, 3-120, 4-127, 5-189, 6-256.

BOWLING: Mohammad Abbas 24-9-56-1, Shaheen Shah Afridi 22-7-58-2, Usman Shinwari 15-4-54-1, Naseem Shah 24.5-5-83-2, Haris Sohail 3-0-12-0, Shan Masood 1-1-0-0, Asad Shafiq 2-0-8-0.

PAKISTAN: Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Rizwan, Usman Shinwari, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi.

TOSS: Sri Lanka

UMPIRES: Richard Kettleborough, Michael Gough

TV UMPIRE: Richard Illingworth

MATCH REFEREE: Andy Pycroft