Recent Match Report – Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2nd Test 2022

Lunch Sri Lanka 96 for 2 (Fernando 50, Karunaratne 28*) Pakistan

Oshada Fernando made a bright half-century, and the openers put on 92 runs together, but two wickets fell in the last 18 balls of the session, and what was looking to be an outstanding session for Sri Lanka lost much of its sheen. By lunch, they were 96 for 2, having just lost Kusal Mendis to an unfortunate run out at the non-strikers’ end. Dimuth Karunaratne was on 28.

Pakistan began with their two quicks, whom Sri Lanka’s openers were initially watchful against, scoring only two runs from the first four overs. Eventually, though, Fernando began to look for runs, smoking Hasan Ali through the covers to hit the game’s first boundary, before coming down the track to launch left-arm spinner Nauman Ali over wide long-on, soon after spin was introduced.

Fernando’s scoring continued to speed up through that second hour. He often came down the pitch to the spinners, once to whack Nauman over mid-on for four, another time to whip Mohammad Nawaz through midwicket. He’d hit two more sixes off Nawaz, putting him first into the sightscreen, before launching him again over long-on to get to his half-century. That’s as far as Fernando got, though. He raised his bat to take in the applause from teammates, scratched out his guard again, and promptly edged a sharp-turning Nawaz delivery to be out for 50 off 70 deliveries.

Three overs later, Karunaratne hit a straight drive at Agha Salman, who got a hand to the shot and managed to direct it to the stumps. Kusal Mendis, who’d faced ten balls for three runs by then, had his bat out of his crease, and could not ground it before the ball dislodged the bails.

From among Pakistan’s bowlers, Nawaz again seemed the likeliest to make a breakthrough, though Salman could have had Karunaratne out shortly before lunch had short leg got low enough to intercept the inside edge that hit his boot. Naseem Shah had delivered the most miserly spell, however, going for just four runs from his five overs.