Pakistan on top in first Test against Sri Lanka

Mohammad Rizwan (L) and Yasir Shah (R) are celebrating after sending back Kusal Mendis to the pavilion. Photo: AFP

GALLE: With quick four wickets, Pakistani bowlers Yasir Shah and Shaheen Afridi wreaked havoc on the Sri Lankan batting order in the opening session of the first Test played at the Galle International Stadium on Saturday.

Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunartne won the toss and decided to bat first against Pakistan.

Pakistan drew the first blood quickly when Shaheen Afridi bowled out Dimuth Karunaratne at the end of the third over to put the Men in Green off to a good start. Yasir Shah dismissed Kusal Mendis and Angelo Methews in 14th and 20th overs respectively. While Hassan Ali sent Oshada Fernando to the pavilion in 15th over.

Oshada Fernando scored 35 runs on 49 balls while Dimuth Karnunaratne made just one run, Kusal Mendis 21 and Angelo Mathews went for a duck.

Earlier, All-rounder Salman Ali Agha made his Test debut for Pakistan. Ahead of the toss, Agha has been presented the debut cap by batting coach Mohammad Yousuf.

Yasir Shah and Mohammad Nawaz have also made their return to the national side.

Batting coach Mohammad Yousuf presents the Test cap to All-rounder Salman Ali Agha. Photo: PCB
Batting coach Mohammad Yousuf presents the Test cap to All-rounder Salman Ali Agha. Photo: PCB  

The hosts made two changes to the team that beat Australia in a series-levelling win earlier this week at the same venue in Galle, which saw some rain in the morning.

Dhananjaya de Silva and Oshada Fernando replaced Kamindu Mendis and Pathum Nissanka, who was one of the four players to get Covid ahead of and during the second Australia Test.

The Test series is being played under the ICC World Test Championship Cycle of 2021 – 2023.

Playing XI:

Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (vc, wk), Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Salman Ali Agha, Shaheen Afridi and Yasir Shah

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunartne (c) Oshanda Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Ramesh Mendis, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Prabath Jayasuriya

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