Pakistan is firmly in control of the ongoing first Test against Sri Lanka at Galle International Stadium. Led by Babar Azam, the Pakistani side has taken a commanding 149-run lead in the first innings, thanks to an exceptional double hundred by Saud Shakeel (208*). Day 3 of the Test witnessed an eventful affair as Shakeel and Agha Salman (83) continued to frustrate the hosts with their massive 177-run partnership.
Amidst the gripping action on the field, a hilarious moment between Ramesh Mendis and Abrar Ahmed during the third session became the highlight of the day. In the 120th over, an off-spinner from Mendis turned sharply, brushing Ahmed’s gloves and getting stuck in his pads.
Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Sadeera Samarawickrama attempted to claim a catch, but Ahmed hilariously denied him by grabbing his hand and pulling him outside the crease. As a result, the ball eventually fell out of Ahmed’s pads, and he swiftly returned to the crease to avoid a run-out. The entire incident left everyone, including Pakistan captain Babar Azam, in stitches inside the dressing room.
— WAQAR 🇵🇰 (@waqu_hassan15) July 18, 2023
Returning to the match, Pakistan was struggling at 101/5 on Day 2 before Agha Salman and Saud Shakeel joined forces for their remarkable 177-run partnership. With contributions from the lower order, the visitors amassed 461 runs in the first innings. Saud Shakeel remained unbeaten on 208*, hitting 19 fours during his marathon innings.
Notably, he became the first Pakistan batsman to score a double hundred in Tests in Sri Lanka, surpassing Mohammad Hafeez’s previous highest score of 196 in 2012 at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo.
Moving to Day 4, Pakistan managed to take four wickets in Sri Lanka’s second innings. The Dimuth Karunaratne-led side was 113/4 after 41 overs, trailing by 36 runs, with Dhananjaya de Silva (5*) and Dinesh Chandimal (10*) at the crease. Pakistan’s dominant performance puts them in a strong position to secure victory in the first Test against Sri Lanka.