Wet weather halted the historic play between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Rawalpindi on Friday (Dec 13). Groundsmen were soaking the outfield and wiping water from the covers, with the third day’s play unlikely to start until lunch at 11:45am.
Earlier the match was delayed for all but 83 minutes on Thursday, during which Sri Lanka added 43 runs in 18.2 overs before stumps were drawn. Sri Lanka, who won the toss and batted, were 263-6 in their first innings with Dhananjaya de Silva unbeaten on 72 and Dilruwan Perera on two. For Pakistan, 16-year-old paceman Naseem Shah (2-75) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (2-47) were the pick of the bowlers.
De Silva, who added 67 for the sixth wicket with Dickwella, survived a scare on 48 when Mohammad Rizwan leapt forward to claim a catch off Naseem Shah but replays confirmed the ball had bounced before reaching the wicketkeeper.
Its worth mentioning here that this series will mark the return of Test cricket to Pakistan after 10 years. Sri Lanka were the last team to play Tests there, in 2009, when their tour was cut short by an attack on the team bus. Their return to play red-ball cricket in the country thus holds significance.
Pakistan recently had a poor outing on their tour to Australia where they failed to register a single win in three T20Is and two Tests they played. Sri Lanka visited Pakistan in September-October wherein the two teams competed in three ODIs and as many T20Is. Sri Lanka had last month announced their full-strength squad for the Test matches. The team, led by Dimuth Karunaratne, will leave for Pakistan on Sunday to take part in the series, held under the ongoing ICC World Test Championship.
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