Lahiru Kumara four-for puts Sri Lanka ahead on 13-wicket day


Sri Lanka 64 for 3 (Abbas 2-21) trail Pakistan 191 (Shafiq 63, Babar 60, Kumara 4-49, Embuldeniya 4-71, Vishwa 2-31) by 127 runs

A flat surface had been expected at Karachi. Instead the first day delivered 13 wickets, eight of them in a manic final session, as Pakistan first nosedived to 191 all out, losing their last six for 24 runs, before Sri Lanka limped their way to 64 for 3 at the close.

The day belonged to all manner of bowlers – speedsters, seam-bowling wizards, ambling spinners – but if one stood out from the crowd, it was Sri Lanka’s Lahiru Kumara. He touched 150kph at times in the morning, and kept his pace up all day, sending down hostile bouncers in stretches, and teasing the outside edge at other times. He had most success going full, straight and fast, however, nailing Abid Ali and Yasir Shah lbw, and cleaning up Mohammad Rizwan with an inducker on his way to 4 for 49 from 18 overs.

Lasith Embuldeniya, the left-arm spinnner, was the perfect foil, recovering from a wayward first session to settle into an alluring rhythm later on. He had excellent drift from the outset, but once he’d settled into his work after lunch, he had flight, dip, bounce and spin at his command as well. He took the vital wicket of Babar Azam early in the second session, getting one to spit past the face of his bat as he ran down the pitch at him, Niroshan Dickwella completing an easy stumping. Just before that middle session finished, Embuldeniya also trapped Haris Sohail in front of the stumps with another sharply-turning delivery. Taking two tail-end wickets as well, he finished with 4 for 71.

More to follow…

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