Shakeel, Agha Hit Fifties, Bring Pakistan Back On Track Against Sri Lanka


Shakeel, Agha hit fifties, bring Pakistan back on track against Sri Lanka

The day's play has ultimately been curtailed by rain, leaving the Test finely balanced under Galle's unpredictable weather conditions.

GALLE: (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News-July 17th, 2023) Pakistan regained momentum against Sri Lanka on a fluctuating day of cricket in Galle.

A strong partnership between Saud Shakeel and Agha Salman, marked by aggressive strokeplay, propelled Pakistan to finish the day at just 91 runs behind Sri Lanka's first-innings total of 312.

However, the day's play was cut short by rain.

The highlight of Pakistan's innings was the brisk run-scoring rather than mere accumulation. Across 38 overs, they scored at a brisk rate of just under five runs per over, led initially by Shan Masood.

Agha and Shakeel then took charge and unleashed an onslaught in the final hour, taking advantage of gaps in the field, rotating the strike, and finding the boundary consistently. Their attacking approach put Sri Lanka's bowlers under immense pressure, with even the best bowler being targeted.

Both batsmen reached their half-centuries, and as the runs flowed, Sri Lanka appeared to run out of ideas, resorting to the pace of Kasun Rajitha. The middle session witnessed more action than the entire first day, with Sri Lanka's spinners proving superior in the conditions. Jayasuriya's three wickets gave Sri Lanka an advantage, despite Pakistan's aggressive intent. Masood's rapid 39 off 30 balls epitomized their approach as they maintained a run rate of 4.71, albeit losing half of their wickets.

Although facing a deficit of over 200 runs with Nauman Ali yet to bat, Pakistan did not adopt a defensive approach. Instead, they exploited gaps in the field, rotated the strike, and utilized their footwork to put pressure on the bowlers. Shakeel's authoritative shot over Jayasuriya's head and Agha's powerful hits over cow corner forced Sri Lanka's best bowler out of the attack.

The partnership between Agha and Shakeel changed the dynamics of the match, leaving Sri Lanka searching for solutions. The day's play was ultimately curtailed by rain, leaving the Test finely balanced under Galle's unpredictable weather conditions.

Abdullah Hussain

Abdullah Hussain is a staff member who writes on politics, human rights, social issues and climate change.