Pakistan 64-0 in reply to Sri Lanka's 419 on Day Two of Abu Dhabi Test

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Pakistan 64-0 in reply to Sri Lankas 419 on Day Two of Abu Dhabi Test
Pakistan's Sami Aslam plays a shot during the second day of the first Test against Sri Lanka (AFP)

Abu Dhabi - Openers Shan Masood (30) and Sami Aslam (31) were at the crease

By Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Fri 29 Sep 2017, 6:09 PM

Last updated: Mon 2 Oct 2017, 1:09 PM

Dinesh Chandimal scored his first century as Test captain to steer Sri Lanka to 419 against Pakistan in their first innings on Day Two of the first Test of the J Junaid Jamshed Cup 2017 series at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Yasir Shah (3/120) and Mohammad Abbas (3/75) bundled out Sri Lanka in 155 overs. In reply, Pakistan had a solid start with Shan Masood (30) and Sami Aslam (31) taking the total to 64 in 23 overs.
Chandimal (155 not out), despite an uncharacteristically slow scoring rate, was involved in three crucial partnerships. The skipper ended up with more than nine marathon hours on the pitch to take the Lankans to a position of strength.
Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella, beginning on the overnight score of 227 for four wickets, negotiated the pace and spin attack with ease. The duo easily picked boundaries off spinner Yasir Shah and others.
Dickwella, with his penchant for back-of-wicket strokes, got to his highest score with a well-timed reverse sweep. The man from Kandy, however, couldn't reap maximum benefits for his hard work as pacer Hasan Ali packed him back 17 runs away from a century.
Dickwella continued to go for shots to third man and that was his undoing too. Ali was able to get an inside edge onto the stumps to end a productive fifth-wicket partnership of 134 runs.
The wicket coming after 21 overs brought great relief to the home side. However, skipper Sarfraz Ahmed took wickettaker Ali out of the attack and got Mohammad Amir back.
Meanwhile, Chandimal laboured his way to century. It was an attractive drive to reach his ninth ton from 273 balls and some 383 minutes in the sun. It was also his first century against Pakistan.
Taking a leaf out of Chandimal innings, Dilruwan Perera, too, took time to settle down. It was in the 33rd ball faced that he got off the mark. Perera made good use of reviews as twice he was given out and both times he got reprieve from third umpire.
And just as Sri Lanka passed the 350-mark, Chandimal began to flourish. There were back-to-back boundaries taken in one Yasir Shah over.
Perera also joined the party and tonked part-timer Haris Sohail for a six. He, however, escaped a close stumping chance. Lady luck finally smiled on Pakistan as Perera went for a slog of Sohail's delivery and was adjudged leg-before. The third umpire review couldn't help and thus ended the 92-run sixth-wicket partnership. 
The wicket came from a decision made by the skipper to persist with debutant Sohail. 
Sarfraz then got Yasir back and the leg-spinner immediately packed Rangana Herath back. Yasir ended up bowling 57 overs in the day.
Amid all this, Chandimal got to his 150 from 356 balls. The skipper easily found spaces on the ground and looked good for a double.
The post Tea session, however, saw Mohammed Abbas run through the tail. Abbas got Suranga Lakmal leg-before and then had consecutive wickets of Lakshan Sandakan and Nuwan Pradeep, making him wait with a chance of a hat trick when Sri Lanka's begin their second innings. 
Abbas could've bagged the big wicket of Chandimal but for a no-ball for overstepping. At the end, Chandimal was left stranded at 155 runs, seven short of eclipsing his highest score made against India. It was long 372-ball, 546-minute vigil by the skipper.
Pakistan openers Masood and Aslam, in reply, confidently tackled all the three Sri Lankan spinners - Sandakan, Perera and Herath. 
But Sarfraz Ahmed's men are still 355 runs as Day Three promises a fascinating battle between Lankan spinners and Pakistan batsmen.

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