A brilliant 88 runs from Babar Azam helped Pakistan post 277-7 against Sri Lanka Cricket XI at stumps on Day one in their 3-Day warm up game at Colts Cricket Club Ground Colombo, yesterday.
Winning the toss and electing to bat, Pakistan were off to a poor start losing openers Abdullah Shafique (3) Imam-ul-Haq (0) in consecutive overs to put early pressure on the visiting side.
However, Azhar Ali and Babar Azam got the momentum back to their side with a 134-run partnership for the third wicket to steady the innings.
Babar Azam top scored with 88 runs off 113 deliveries, while Azhar Ali played a supportive role (43 off 119) before Lakshitha Manasinghe got the breakthrough to send Babar back to the pavilion in the 39th over.
With their set batter back in the pavilion, Azhar Ali too didn’t last long and was castled by a brilliant delivery by Lasith Embuldeniya to pin down Pakistan.
With the score reading 143-4, Fawad Alam along with Mohamed Rizwan chipped in with 22 and 31 runs respectively from down the order to put their team in a comfortable position after 60 overs. The duo was involved in a 52-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
Rizwan and Fawad however failed to hang on, as brilliant bowling from Lakshitha Manasinghe – once again coming into the attack – picked up the all-important wickets of the two set batters.
However, Saud Shakeel (30*) and Agha Salam (43*) looked confident in the middle with an unbeaten 71 run partnership for the 7th wicket when umpires called for stumps.
Lakshitha Manasinghe was the pick of the bowlers claiming 3-83, while Lasith Embuldeniya picked up two wickets.
The match will continue today for Day 02.
Pakistan: 277-7 (Babar Azam 88, Agha Salam 43*, Lakshitha Manasinghe 3-83, Lasith Embuldeniya 2-83)
By Mustaq Sydeen