Day-1, Colombo Test: Junaid, Wahab stun Sri Lanka’s batsmen
Pakistan performed extremely well on a pitch that had nothing for the bowlers. Their seamers stuck to disciplined lines and found the odd bit of life.
Pakistan after losing the toss went wicket-less in the first session. But it was the fast bowlers who brought them back into the game.
The duo of Pakistan frontline pace attack (Junaid Khan- Wahab Riaz) jointly dismissed seven Sri Lankan batsmen.
Junaid got the odd ball to move off the pitch, Wahab, playing his first Test in three years, generated hustling pace.
Wahab Riaz, who was bit expensive, took 3-wickets conceding 66 runs in 16.1 over. But it was he, who caught the biggest fish, picking up the wicket of Kumara Sangakkara on 22 when he chopped on a length delivery from Wahab.
Junaid Khan, on the other hand, was simply brilliant. The way he worked Lahiru Thirimanne out was just a pleasure to watch, putting doubt in his head with one incoming ball and then bowling a series of away-curlers. He took 4-wickets at the expense of 69 runs in his 21-over spell.
Sri Lankan openers Upul Tharanga and Kaushal Silva (41) had given their team stand of 79 runs.
Following Silva’s dismissal Sagakkara added 65 for the second wicket with Tharanga, who scored 92, at 4.33 runs an over. Mahela Jayawardene’s (4) dismissal soon after gave Pakistan the upper hand. The bowlers struck five more times in the third session to take control.
Till then, Tharanga had looked set for his second Test century despite not being the most fluent. However, he was dismissed 10 runs after Jayawardene’s departure, leaving the repair job with skipper Angelo Mathews.
But all Mathews could do was watch as Pakistan picked up wickets at regular intervals at the other end. Junaid trapped Niroshan Dickwella and Dilruwan Perera lbw in the first over with the second new ball, the DRS ruling in Pakistan’s favour in both cases.
Mathews joined the others in the pavilion soon, edging a short of length delivery from Wahab to the keeper, down the leg side.
The day was ended with Mathews’ dismissal after 85.1 overs.