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Play curtailed on day two in 1st Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Rawalpindi

Javed Miandad reaches out to the new generation on the opening day of the Test
Javed Miandad (left) and Bandula Warnapura, wave to the fans

Sri Lanka were 263-6 at the close of play on day two of the 1st Test at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi today.

Match Summary

Sri Lanka - 263 - 6 (86.3overs) – (Dimuth Karunaratne 59)

Pakistan – Still to bat

At the Close on Day 2 - Sri Lanka are 263 for 6


Only 18.2 overs of play were possible today in Rawalpindi, however, Pakistan did manage to get one more wicket and Sri Lanka closed the day on 263 for 6


 Match Comment - Salim Parvez - Anti-climax on Day Two

The second day of the Rawalpindi Test never got going due to both drizzle and bad light, keeping the players off the field, for best part of six hours. In the two separate sessions, one each in morning and afternoon, only 82 minutes’ play was possible. Sri Lanka’s Dhanajaya de Silva resumed his knock and is still at the crease with 72 to his name. The tourists added 61 runs, to their total which now stands at 263-6.

Play did start on time at 9.45am but under dark clouds had prompted the authorities to switch on the floodlights. Pakistan pace attack, now with the second new ball in their hands, were much sharper as Shaheen Afridi send back wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella, caught in the gully, for a spirited 33. With only 18.2 overs of cricket possible on the second day and more rain forecast, both teams will be hard pressed to achieve a result in Test. The play today was called off at 3.31pm local time.

Compared to the opening day that marked the return of Test cricket in Pakistan after a decade-long wait, the second day, hit so badly by the wet weather, could not attract a sizeable crowd. The first day crowd was estimated to have reached 10,000 in the afternoon and the sight of Naseem Shah, regularly hitting 140kph speed, attracted plenty of attention.

Rawalpindi as a twin city of Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, was once no more than a sleepy town. Pindi Club Ground was the centre of cricket activities and hosted a Test match against New Zealand in March 1965 but soon was out of favour. Two decades later, it would host the 1985 West Indies team in an ODI and also Pakistan-England game in the 1987 Reliance World Cup. Other venues in the country such as Sialkot, Lyallpur (now Faisalabad), Gujranwala, Multan, Hyderabad and Peshawar, were awarded far more international cricket than Rawalpindi.

The construction of the Rawalpindi cricket stadium in 1991 proved a turning point for players in the region. The enthusiasm of the game already existed but soon young men from Rawalpindi and Islamabad would have more opportunities to show their worth and compete with the best talent in the country. In the second half of the 1990s, the likes of Azhar Mahmood, Mohammed Wasim, Shoaib Akhtar, Shakil Ahmed Sr and Yasir Arfat, forced their way into the Pakistan team.

Shoaib in particular, the ‘Rawalpindi Express’ enjoyed a star status through explosive bowling spells for more than a decade. By uprooting Sachin Tendulkar’s middle stump, first ball, with a perfectly delivered yorker, he managed to stun a full house in a Test match against India at Calcutta in 1999. Perhaps the most sensational ball delivered by a Pakistan bowler and certainly worthy of being tagged as ‘Ball of the Century’ for the theatrical value of the India-Pakistan clash and the dismissal of a high-class batsman, to some nudged him ahead of Shane Warne’s clean bowling of Mike Gatting at Old Trafford in 1993.

The absence of Fawad Alam from Pakistan’s playing eleven has stirred another debate on the social media. Knowing how Misbah-ul-Haq has functioned, both as captain and now as selector and head coach, he will ensure the left-handed batsman stays with the squad for the present series and the one against Bangladesh in January 2020.

Former Pakistan batsman Qasim Umar, added his thoughts on the subject, ‘Another two shocking and stupid remarks by Inzamam-ul-Haq after playing and performing in such grand style has commented that Fawad Alam is like Mark Ramprskash of England, a first-class player but not a Test class. This to me is very insulting for anyone especially when Fawad is making a comeback after 10 years of injustice must be a demoralizing situation. A great player like Inzamam who I rate a better player than India’s Sachin Tendulkar should have encouraged Fawad, Another silly and senseless comments came from PCB chairman Ehsan Mani that if present cricket coach fails to make our cricket team a winning outfit that we will consider removing of present coach. It is not fair on Misbah at all if PCB did appoint him as a coach than definitely he deserves a fair stint or time to prove that he is a good coach.’


Match Details


Pakistan - Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali(c), Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Rizwan(wk), Usman Shinwari, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi

Sri Lanka - Dimuth Karunaratne(c), Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella(wk), Dilruwan Perera, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara


Start Time: 04:45

Toss: Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to bat

Venue: Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi

Officials: Michael Gough, Richard Kettleborough, Richard Illingworth, Shozab Raza, Andrew Pycroft


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