Pakistan’s pace sensation Shaheen Shah Afridi shined on Saturday as the Men In Green bowled out Sri Lanka for 222 in the first innings of the first Test at the Galle International Stadium.
The 21-yer-old claimed four wickets, including the crucial wicket of Dinesh Chandimal to put Pakistan in the driving seat in the first innings.
Following lunch, the left-arm pacer bowled out Dhananjaya da Silva after he scored 14 runs in 28 balls. In his next over, Niroshan Dickwella 4 (4) fell victim to Shaheen’s fiery pace after he was caught by debutant Salman Ali Agha.
To add to the hosts’ misery, young pacer Naseem Shah got the better of Ramesh Mendis 11 (41), who was fighting hard to make a comeback but was brilliantly sent back to the pavilion by the 20-year-old.
Mohammad Nawaz, who is making his comeback to the Test side, also took a wicket for his side after he trapped Prabath Jayasuriya for an lbw.
The danger-man Chandimal 76 (115), who top-scored for the hosts, was caught by Yasir Shah off Hasan Ali’s bowl, but off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana didn’t give up till he scored 38 runs in 65 balls, falling prey to Shaheen.
In the first session, a brilliant performance from Pakistan’s bowling line-up helped the touring party reduce Sri Lanka to 80-4 at lunch.
Shaheen managed to give Pakistan an early breakthrough as he bowled Sri Lankan skipper Dimuth Karunaratne 1 (7) after he found an inside edge, which clattered the stumps.
In the fifteenth over, Yasir, who is making his comeback to the Test side, sent Kusal Mendis back to the pavilion, after scoring 21 runs in 35 balls.
In quick succession, Sri Lanka lost Oshanda Fernando, who had played decent innings of 35 runs, and was caught by Mohammad Rizwan off Hasan Ali’s bowl.
Yasir struck again in the 21st over as he got the better of Angelo Mathews for a duck after facing 15 deliveries.
Earlier, Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first against Pakistan in the first Test of the two-match Test series here at the Galle International Stadium.
All-rounder Salman Ali Agha will be making his Test debut for Pakistan, while Yasir Shah and Mohammad Nawaz have made their return for the national side.