After Sri Lanka opted to bat in the first Test, Shaheen Afridi struck early before the other bowlers too chipped in later in the session leaving Pakistan in a dominant position on the first morning of the first Test.
Briefly, Sri Lanka replied in kind to Pakistan’s attacking strategy, with the bowlers erring and allowing Kusal Mendis and Oshada Fernando to collect boundaries at will.
Their 49-run stand did well to offset the early disadvantage caused by Shaheen Afridi. The left-arm pacer had skipper Dimuth Karunaratne edging onto the stumps in just the third over of the day to draw first blood for Pakistan.
The sprightly stand thereafter helped Sri Lanka negate that early advantage briefly and kept Sri Lanka scoring at a healthy rate.
However, there was to be another turnaround with the attacking approach taken by both teams. Yasir Shah, after copping a couple of boundaries, soon had Kusal Mendis caught behind attempting a cut shot. One brought two for Pakistan as Oshada to fell in the next over, nicking Hasan Ali.
Sri Lanka’s senior batters – Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews – were left with a repair job to do. However, the latter struggled to get off the mark for 14 balls before eventually perishing trying to loft Yasir. leaving Sri Lanka in trouble by Lunch on day one.