Chandimal helps Sri Lanka take first innings lead: Shaheen sizzles as Pakistan stay alive in see-saw Test

KARACHI: On a day of fluctuating fortunes, Pakistan kept their hopes alive of recording their first win in the ICC World Test Championship here at the National Stadium on Friday.The pace duo of Shaheen Shah Afridi, who grabbed his first five-wicket haul in Tests, and Mohammad Abbas shared nine wickets between them to make sure Sri Lanka don’t walk away with a big lead.Then in the final hour of an engrossing second day of the final Test, Pakistan’s openers – Abid Ali and Shan Masood — showed some spine as they reduced Sri Lanka’s first innings lead of 80 to 23 with an unbeaten 57-run stand. With three more days to go, the series decider is now evenly poised and much will depend on how Pakistan’s top order will fare on Saturday when hopefully a larger crowd will come and witness what promises to be another absorbing day of Test cricket. Pakistan have certainly wrestled the momentum from Sri Lanka thanks to the much-needed opening partnership between Abid and Shan in fading light. The way they counterattacked should give the hosts a lot of confidence on the crucial third day when the local fans will expect them to give Sri Lanka a sizeable total to chase on what is not an easy wicket to bat on.The task for the openers should be to carry on from where they left on Friday evening and bat positively. A 100-plus opening stand will put the Sri Lankans on the back foot and will lift some pressure off the shoulders of Pakistan’s under-fire captain Azhar Ali, who’ll come to bat at number three. But it’s easier said than done.The tourists once again proved on Friday they mean business and they won’t go down without a fight. Agencies add: Shaheen took a maiden five-wicket haul to lead Pakistan’s fightback after Sri Lanka gained a crucial lead.Shaheen, 19, took 5-77 and was ably supported by new-ball partner Abbas (4-55) to keep Sri Lanka down to 271. By the close of second day’s play Pakistan had wiped off 57 of the deficit for no loss but still trail by 23 runs with all 10 wickets in hand and three days to play. Opener Abid Ali — who became the first batsman ever to hit a debut hundred in both Test and one-day international in the first match in Rawalpindi — was unbeaten on 32 and Shan Masood on 21, not out.Pakistan 1st innings: 191Sri Lanka 1st innings:O. Fernando c Rizwan b Shaheen 4D. Karunaratne b Abbas 25K. Mendis c Sohail b Abbas 13A. Mathews c Rizwan b Shaheen 13L. Embuldeniya c Shafiq b Abbas 13D. Chandimal c Masood b Sohail 74D. de Silva c Abbas b Shaheen 32N. Dickwella b Abbas 21D. Perera lbw b Shaheen 48V. Fernando not out 5L. Kumara b Shaheen 0Extras: (b 4, lb 10, nb 3, w 6) 23Total: (all out; 85.5 overs) 271Fall: 1-28 (Oshada), 2-39 (Karunaratne), 3-61 (Mendis), 4-78 (Embuldeniya), 5-80 (Mathews), 6-147 (de Silva), 7-184 (Dickwella), 8-235 (Chandimal), 9-271 (Perera)Bowling: Shaheen 26.5-5-77-5 (1nb), Abbas 27-9-55-4 (1w), Naseem 16-1-71-0 (2nb, 5w), Yasir 13-0-43-0, Sohail 3-0-11-1Pakistan 2nd innings:Shan Masood not out 21Abid Ali not out 32Extras: (lb 4) 4Total: (for no loss, 14 overs) 57Still to bat: Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Rizwan, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah AfridiBowling: Fernando 5-1-14-0, Kumara 3-0-20-0, Embuldeniya 5-0-17-0, Perera 1-0-2-0Toss: PakistanUmpires: Bruce Oxenford (AUS) and Joel Wilson (WIS)Tv umpire: Gregory Brathwaite (WIS)Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)

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