Sri Lanka vs Pakistan: Babar Azam's century highlights Day 2
The first Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan is well poised at stumps on Day 2. Pakistan started the day on 24/2 before losing their way. Babar Azam stood tall for his side, hammering a defiant 119. His efforts helped Pakistan manage 218/10 after SL were folded for 222 on Saturday. SL started well in the second innings but lost Dimuth Karunaratne late on.
Pakistan started the day by losing Azhar Ali right at the start. Thereafter, they kept losing wickets before the tail helped Babar in getting the side close to Lanka's total. Babar was sensational and played a game-saving knock. For Lanka, Jayasuriya was terrific (5/82). In response, SL openers started on a cautious note before Mohammad Nawaz dismissed Karunaraten for 16.
On a difficult wicket to bat, Babar showed his class. He stuck around and waited for the loose balls. He saw the other batters lose their wickets but the responsibility the skipper showed was remarkable. He hit a patient 119 from 244 balls, bringing up his seventh Test century. The 70-run stand for the final wicket alongside Naseem Shah was a key factor.
Earlier in the day, Babar became the fastest Asian to slam 10,000 international runs (228 innings). Babar went on to break Virat Kohli's record in this regard (232 innings). Babar has surpassed the 800-run mark in the ongoing ICC World Test Championship cycle. He now has 801 runs at 66.75. He has managed to hit two tons and five fifties.
Sri Lankan spinner Jayasuriya finished with figures worth 5/82. He claimed one wicket on Saturday before taking four more today to complete a fifer. He started by dismissing Azhar Ali LBW with a ball that angled in. A sliding delivery resulted in Agha Salman's dismissal. A poor shot by Mohammad Nawaz handed Jayasuriya his 4th wicket. The very next ball saw Shaheen Afridi depart.
Sri Lankan openers Oshada Fernando and Dimuth Karunaratne started well in their second innings. They kept their wickets intact and added 33 runs. However, Karunaratne failed to get going. SL (36/1) lead by 40 runs.