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19-Jul-2023 15:38:00 GMT
SL v PAK - 1st Test, Galle

Dhananjaya and Jayasuriya give Sri Lanka a fighting chance

Pakistan 461 (Shakeel 208*, Salman 83, Ramesh Mendis 5-136) and 48 for 3 (Jayasuriya 2-17) need 83 runs to beat Sri Lanka 312 (Dhananjaya 122, Abrar 3-68, Afridi 3-86, Naseem 3-90) and 279 (de Silva 82, Ahmed 3-68, Ali, 3-75)

Galle: Pakistan inched closer to breaking their winless streak in Test matches as their spinners put on a remarkable display, restricting Sri Lanka to a score of 279 on Day 4 of the first Test at the Galle International Stadium on Wednesday.

At the end of Day 4, Pakistan managed to put up a total of 48/3 with skipper Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq unbeaten on the crease with scores of 6(9)* and 25(45) respectively.

Nishan Madushka and Dimuth Karunaratne aimed to provide the hosts with an ideal start in the opening session of Day 4.

But Abrar Ahmed dealt them an early blow by dismissing the skipper for a score of 20(27). Noaman Ali came into the attack to pick up a couple of wickets as he dismissed Kusal Mendis and Mathews for scores of 18(45) and 7(21) respectively.

After Mathews's departure, Madushka flinched for a single moment and found himself sitting in the dugout. It was Noaman Ali once again who provided the breakthrough.

Madushka tried to go for a drive on a full-length delivery, but his concentration lapsed and instead of finding the middle of the bat he got a thick outside edge which went straight to Sarfaraz.

Sri Lanka were four down before they managed to get past the trail of 149 runs. Once they managed to get past that mark, Pakistan inflicted another blow.

Experienced batter Dinesh Chandimal fell to Agha Salman with Imam taking a sharp catch at short midwicket.

Dhananjaya de Silva drove Sri Lanka's hope of establishing a defendable lead while wickets kept falling on the other end. He managed to build a solid partnership with Ramesh Mendis. The duo managed to add 76 runs to the total.

At the end of the second session, Sri Lanka brought up a score of 210-6 with both batters looking well-adjusted to the crease.

But Mendis fell early in the third session to leave Sri Lanka in a peculiar situation. Dhananjaya was next to depart with Shaheen Afridi claiming his first of the second innings.

Shaheen struck again with the new ball to claim the wicket of Prabath Jayasuriya for 10. While Kasun Rajitha fell to Abrar Ahmed for 5.

Pakistan came out to bat for the final few overs and ended up losing three wickets leaving room for the hosts to make a comeback.

Jayasuriya struck twice to remove Abdullah Shafique (8) and Shan Masood (7). While Noman Ali who came in as a night watcher got run out to force Baba Azam to come out and bat for the final deliveries.

Sri Lanka needs 7 wickets to claim victory while Pakistan is just 83 runs shy of clinching the win.

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