Sri Lanka target 400 after opening day of second Test against Pakistan

Chandimal and Oshada hit half centuries while tourists rue dropped catches by captain Babar in Galle

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Sri Lanka are aiming to pass the 400-run mark after a closely fought first day against Pakistan in Galle on Sunday.

Oshada Fernando and Dinesh Chandimal both hit half-centuries to drive Sri Lanka's total before Pakistan hit back with late wickets to share the opening day honours.

Chandimal fell for 80 – after making 206 not out, 76 and 94 not out in his previous two Tests – but a string of cameos from their top and middle order kept Sri Lanka on course for a solid total.

Sri Lanka reached 315-6 when bad light stopped play, with the hosts electing to bat first in their bid to bounce back from an opening loss in the two-match series.

Pakistan could have been in a better position but captain Babar Azam dropped two catches, including one from Niroshan Dickwella who finished the day unbeaten after a quick-fire 42.

“If we can get 400 runs that will be a good total,” said opener Oshada, whose knock of 50 came off 70 balls. “That total will help us to put Pakistan under pressure. We need to get that total.”

After electing to bat at the Galle International Stadium, Sri Lanka got off to a strong start with Oshada and Dimuth Karunaratne (40) combining in a 92-run opening stand.

Oshada was particularly aggressive bringing up his fifty with a six off Mohammad Nawaz but fell caught behind to the very next delivery from the left-arm spinner.

Kusal Mendis departed on the stroke of lunch when bowler Agha Salman, trying to stop Karunaratne's straight drive, deflected the ball on to the stumps at the non-striker's end with Mendis short of crease.

Karunaratne was looking good for his fifty but he threw his wicket attempting a reverse sweep off Yasir Shah.

Angelo Mathews, playing his 100th test, batted aggressively and got a reprieve when Babar floored a sitter at cover when the batsman was on 36.

Mathews could not capitalise on it though and was dismissed caught behind for 42 by Nauman Ali.

Chandimal took a single off Yasir to bring up his fifty and went on to hit the leg spinner for a couple of sixes.

A century looked on the cards but Chandimal paid for his ultra-aggression, top edging Nawaz trying to hit the spinner out of the park.

Dhananjaya de Silva made 33 before losing his middle stump to Naseem Shah soon after Pakistan took the second new ball.

Shah was denied a second wicket when Babar dropped Dickwella, then on 24, in the slip.

“The total is a bit more than our expectations. We had opportunities come our way but could not avail them,” said Nawaz, who described Babar's drops as a “rare” blip for his captain.

“There have been lapses, catches dropped, but still if we bowl them out in the first hour tomorrow then hopefully the score would not be much.”

Updated: July 24, 2022, 2:42 PM
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