The SSC and Pallekele two different continents, such was the contrast in the nature of their pitches. After the highway at the SSC last week, the Pallekele pitch increased by the rain before the match and a hint of grass gave Sri Lanka’s attack early encouragement that lasted into the final session, justifying the home team’s decision to bowl first.
The new ball was a powerful weapon, employed expertly by Thisara Perera and Nuwan Kulasekara, who also stood out for their stamina and helped their team have the better of most of the first day. But it was used even more menacingly by Pakistan’s fast bowlers, whose extra pace and difficult angles produced wickets and plenty of nervous moments for the batsmen.
Pakistan’s 226 may be below-par, but an incisive spell in the final hour led by Junaid Khan revived their spirits and boosted hopes of a strong comeback.
After a full day’s play on day 1,today morning the match was delayed by heavy rain in Pallekele. Mohammad Sami should have been completing his over now, after dismissing Mahela Jayawardene with a searing yorker to end the first day. Instead, we have covers protecting most of the ground from the rain that is quite heavy at the moment.
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