Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi pointed out one move Pakistan could have changed on the final day of an enticing first Test against Sri Lanka. Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka by four wickets in the first Test at Galle International Stadium to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series
Thanks to opener Abdullah Shafique’s second Test hundred that became the difference between the two teams. Shafique defied the bowling efforts of Sri Lankan spinner Prabath Jayasuriya who picked a nine-wicket haul in the first Test.
Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by four wickets
The Pakistan opener remained unbeaten on 160 and bettered his 136 against Australia in Rawalpindi this year in March. Despite a terrific opening stand of 87 between Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq, Pakistan were reduced to 222 for three with Jayasuriya getting the better of Babar on 55 before the close of the fourth day.
Shafique continued to chase the arduous score along with Mohammad Rizwan. The pair added 71 runs for the fourth wicket before Rizwan was trapped before the stumps off Jayasuriya.
They shouldn’t have promoted Hasan Ali at that time: Shahid Afridi
Agha Salman had a brief stay at the crease and edged behind the keeper to become the fourth dismissal of Jayasuriya in the second innings. Hasan Ali was promoted to bat ahead of Mohammad Nawaz with the intent to hit big shots and finish the game. Hasan lasted at the pitch for just four balls.
Hasan found a leading edge in order to attempt the slog sweep to Dhananjaya de Silva. Pakistan were still 39 runs shy of the target.
Shafique excelled in the chase with the singles and doubles. Nawaz didn’t succumb to the pressure and supported his partner till the game was finished.
“I felt they shouldn’t have promoted Hasan Ali at that time. Because it was a left-arm spinner who was taking most of the wickets. I felt Nawaz should have come to the crease after Salman’s wicket. I know it was the captain’s decision, though, it isn’t necessary that I am right and he is wrong,” Afridi said on Samaa TV.
The second Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan will start on July 24 at Galle International Stadium. Initially, the match was scheduled to play in Colombo but was moved back to Galle owing to the political unrest in the national capital.