RAWALPINDI            -       Cricket was the ultimate winner, as debutant Abid Ali wrote his name into history books to become first ever batsman to score centuries in both One-Day International and Test match debuts.

It was all about the brilliance of Abid Ali, who not only won millions of hearts but also proved that hard work, passion and self belief always pay great dividend. Although the first Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka ended in a draw here at Pindi Cricket Stadium on Sunday, but the massive crowd was duly entertained first by Sri Lankan middle order batsman Silva for smashing unbeaten 102 and then by talented Abid Ali for hitting unbeaten 109 along Babar Ali for cracking unbeaten 102, as the pair put on unbeaten 122-runs for the fourth-wicket unbroken stand.

Pakistan got off to the worst possible start as one of the flopped openers of the national team Shan Masood was back to the pavilion without disturbing the scorers. Out-of-form skipper Azhar Ali then joined Abid Ali and both survived early onslaught of Sri Lankan fast bowlers. Azhar survived too many close calls, before he was finally out after scoring 36. Babar then joined Abid and both amused the spectators with their powerful batting display and beautiful shot selection.

Abid’s knock was a treat to watch for the spectators while Babar also batted with authority as both batted very sensibly. Abid soon completed his half century and when he was in 90s, he consumed 25 deliveries to complete the magical figure of 100. Babar was running away, as he was scoring majority of runs. He was hitting Lankan bowlers to all corners of the ground, while Abid was just trying to get singles to reach the maiden century.

Abid then hit a boundary and then took two runs to complete a memorable hundred and soon after achieving this feat, he started jumping and celebrating his tremendous ton. He also signaled at the pavilion towards his daughter, who was amongst the spectators. He was hugged by Babar and then he bowed down in the middle of the pitch to pay thanks to Almighty. Babar then completed his well-deserving hundred.

The massive crowd was chanting Abid Ali’s name right from the word go, as he is a local boy, just like Shan Masood and Babar Azam, as they played their entire cricket from Islamabad Region before moving to departments. The Pindi Stadium never witnessed three tons in one day but it was also history that first Silva, then Abid Ali and after that Babar Azam cracked classic centuries.

Earlier, Sri Lankan team resumed their first innings from the overnight score of 282-6 and declared it at 308-6 in 97 overs. Sensing that Test match is heading towards a draw, the Sri Lankan captain allowed Silva to complete his ton and soon after his century, the skipper declared the their innings.

It was a perfect day for Test match at Pindi Stadium, as bright sun was shining after four days of disturbance. The crowd was already pack-to-capacity before the start of the fifth and last day’s play. The interesting thing to note was that more than 10,000 spectators were also waiting outside the stadium to get chance to enter the stands, but they had to leave empty-handed as security personals informed them that all the stands are full and there is no space left in the stadium. The families were also in the ground in huge numbers while the spectators, mainly youngsters, were carrying Pakistani flag.

It was festivity all around and everyone enjoyed the last day of the Test with great zeal and zest. The entire credit of holding a historic Test at Pindi Stadium goes to Pakistan Cricket Board, government, security forces and Sri Lankan Cricket Board as well. Another memorable thing of the last day of Test was that senior sports journalists of Pakistan and Sri Lanka were presented shields in an impressive ceremony at media centre.