Chandimal's laboured ton keeps Sri Lanka ahead

Lunch Sri Lanka 322 for 5 (Chandimal 109*, Dickwella 83, Hasan Ali 2-80) v Pakistan

Sri Lanka fans had hoped their team would suck less in this series than they had against India, but not even the most optimistic would have thought Sri Lanka would fail to suck for quite this length of time. They have put together seven good hours of batting now, going to lunch at 322 for 5, having suffered only one setback in this session, and two in all the previous day. With the pitch beginning to take more turn, and three spinners in their ranks, they are better placed than the opposition.

Captain Dinesh Chandimal headed the resistance: his 109 not out off 291 balls was barely watchable, but invaluable given its context. Not only is it Chandimal’s first triple-figure score as Test captain, it has helped Sri Lanka surpass 300 for the first time in four Tests, and has put serious overs in the legs of the Pakistan bowlers. The seam-bowling trio of Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Abbas and Hasan Ali have now bowled 67 overs between them, while Yasir Shah has sent down 46 overs of legspin. Teams often aim to defang Yasir while tiring him out – a strategy Sri Lanka had used to moderately good effect at the end of their series against Pakistan in Sri Lanka, two years ago.

More to follow…

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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