Sri Lanka struggle after Pakistan collapse on eventful day

After bowling out Pakistan for 191 in the first innings, Sri Lanka lost their top order cheaply at stumps on day one of the second Test in Karachi.

Thirteen wickets fell and both Pakistani and Sri Lankan batsmen found themselves at the receiving end as bowlers made merry on what turned out be an action-packed first day.

Sri Lanka were 64/3, trailing by 127 runs, at the end of day’s play with Angelo Mathews (8*) and Lasith Embuldeniya (3*) at the crease. Their openers Oshada Fernando and Dimuth Karunaratne got off to a steady start, seeing off the first five overs. However, the Pakistan pacers, were rewarded for their patience soon after.

Shaheen Afridi provided the first breakthrough when he pitched one up and got it to nip away, luring Fernando to edge his drive. Mohammad Abbas too soon found his line and length and picked up the prized wickets of Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis in a space of just four overs. While Karunaratne was cramped for room and inside edged the ball onto his stumps, Mendis played down the wrong line to nick one into the slips. Newcomer Embuldeniya struggled during the ten balls that he faced but managed to survive.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan, who had chosen to bat first failed to get going, losing opener Shan Masood and captain Azhar Ali in the same over. Vishwa Fernando used the swing to his advantage and clean bowled both batsmen. First Test centurions Abid Ali and Babar Azam then carefully stabilised the innings and attempted to pull the hosts out of trouble. Azam survived an LBW decision on 4 when he challenged a review against him.

The Sri Lankan captain reintroduced Lahiru Kumara into the attack to ruffle the duo and the trick worked as he trapped Abid in front just a few minutes before the lunch break. Azam, however, continued with his fine form post-lunch, bringing up his 13th Test fifty and sharing a half-century stand with Asad Shafiq to boost Pakistan past the 100-run mark. He was snapped up by Embuldeniya, who was brilliant with his variations, turned one sharply past an advancing Azam, who was comfortably stumped by Dickwella. He then trapped Haris Sohail for just 9.

At the other end, Kumara continued to spit fire, intimidating the host batsmen with his pace and sharp bouncers. With Shafiq stuck at one end, adding handy runs to the total and completing a hard-fought fifty in the process, the rest of the middle and lower order collapsed spectacularly. The last six wickets fell for just 24 runs as Pakistan folded on 191. Both Kumara and Embuldeniya picked up four wickets each.


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