SL vs PAK, 1st Test: Preview, stats, and Fantasy XI
Sri Lanka will host Pakistan in a two-match Test series, starting July 16. Lately, the hosts chronicled a 1-1 draw in the two-match series against Australia. Dinesh Chandimal's double-ton and Prabath Jayasuriya's spin prowess had overpowered the Aussie line-up. Meanwhile, Pakistan last competed in Tests in March. They had succumbed to a 1-0 defeat against the Aussies. Here is the preview.
The Galle International Stadium will host this affair. The match will be telecast live on Sony Sports Network (10:00 AM IST) and Sony LIV app. The wicket has plenty to offer for the batters. Spinners are likely to be more influential in Galle. Sides batting first have won 21 of 39 Tests played here. Rains could play a spoilsport on Day 2 and 5.
SL have a 16-20 win-loss record against Pakistan in Tests (19 draws). Pakistan had won the last Test series by 1-0. The Island nation had won the 2017 series in UAE by 2-0. However, they succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at home in 2015.
Pakistan's hopes and wishes lie on the in-form duo of Babar Azam and Abdullah Shafique. Spinner Yasir Ali's return bolsters their spin attack. He pocketed 24 scalps in Pakistan's 2-1 win in 2015. SL have a daunting attack on offer. Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews, and Dinesh Chandimal are the linchpins with the bat. Spinner Prabath Jayasuriya can be a menace on the conditions offered.
Sri Lanka (probable XI): Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva/Kamindu Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella (wicket-keeper), Ramesh Mendis, Prabath Jayasuriya, Maheesh Theekshana. Pakistan (probable XI): Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (wicket-keeper), Fawad Alam, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Yasir Shah.
Dinesh Chandimal has bashed 4,665 Test runs at 42.02. He has 13 hundreds and 21 fifties. Prabath Jayasuriya bagged two six-wicket hauls in the recently concluded Test against Australia in Galle. Babar Azam has smacked 390 runs at 78.00 in Tests played this year. He has a hundred (196 vs Australia) and two fifties. Abdullah Shafique has smashed 547 Test runs at 68.37.
Fantasy XI (option 1): Dinesh Chandimal, Mohammad Rizwan, Angelo Mathews, Babar Azam, Abdullah Shafique, Dhananjaya de Silva, Yasir Shah, Jeffrey Vandersay, Prabath Jayasuriya, Shaheen Afridi, Maheesh Theekshana. Fantasy XI (option 2): Dinesh Chandimal, Mohammad Rizwan, Angelo Mathews, Dimuth Karunaratne, Babar Azam, Dhananjaya de Silva, Faheem Ashraf, Jeffrey Vandersay, Prabath Jayasuriya, Shaheen Afridi, Maheesh Theekshana.