Karunaratne carries SL through wicketless session

Tea Sri Lanka 143 for 3 (Karunaratne 81*, Chandimal 32*, Shah 2-38) v Pakistan
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

It was laboursome work, and pre-lunch indiscretions have still not been atoned for, but in batting out the second session without major worry, senior batsmen Dimuth Karunaratne and Dinesh Chandimal have begun to fit Sri Lanka’s innings with a backbone. At tea, they were 143 for 3.

To understand how reticent Sri Lanka have been, and also how tightly Pakistan have bowled consider this: 59 overs into this match, only eight boundaries have yet been struck. Five of those belong to Karunaratne, who has played his favoured flick judiciously, and waited for the loose balls outside off stump to cut to the boundary. Having faced 171 balls, he has not over-hit a single one. Chandimal has been even less ambitious, ambling contentedly to 32 off 94 balls. Where once he used to be the livewire in Sri Lanka’s middle order, his best innings of the past 14 months have all been slow-burners. The pair have now put on 82 together, and raised Sri Lanka out of the danger they had found themselves in at lunch, when they had been 61 for the loss of 3 wickets.

Despite the green tinge in the surface, there has not been a lot of venom in it for Pakistan. Yasir Shah has extracted only moderate turn, and the batting pair have anyway played him watchfully. In Yasir’s 20 overs so far, Sri Lanka have only taken 38. The quicks had got the occasional ball to move off the seam in the first session, but gained more consistent movement with the older ball, just before tea. Hasan Ali was perhaps the best exponent of reverse swing, creating several moments of discomfort during a seven-over pre-tea spell. An outside edge off Chandimal’s bat fell just short of first slip, and skidded away to the boundary. A Karunaratne inside-edge only narrowly missed the stumps. Hasan sent down the occasional surprise bouncer too, but the batsmen resisted.

more to follow…

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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