Silva steers Sri Lanka steady against Pakistan on second day

June 18, 2015 Off By Web Desk

Galle: Kaushal Silva held Sri Lanka’s innings together, ending the second day – effectively the first after Wednesday’s play was washed out – of the first Test against Pakistan in Galle unbeaten on 80 with the team total at 178 for 3 after a 64-over day on Thursday.

Silva and Kumar Sangakkara had taken Sri Lanka to a strong 123 for 1 by tea, but Sri Lanka lost Sangakkara and then Lahiru Thirimanne in the final session to concede the advantage somewhat.

Sangakkara was lured into the drive outside off by Wahab Riaz and only managed an edge through to Younis Khan, the lone slip fieldsman, after scoring 50.

Thirimanne then failed to time an attempted stroke over the infield off Mohammad Hafeez and holed out to Zulfiqar Babar at mid-on after scoring 8. Silva saw out the day in the company of Angelo Mathews, the captain.

Earlier, after a nervous first hour before lunch, it was business as usual for Sri Lanka as Silva and Sangakkara set it on the road to recovery. By tea, Sri Lanka, sent in under overcast skies, had added 83 runs without loss to its lunch tally, with Pakistan left to rue what may have been had it fielded better.

Two half-chances went down, including the big one of Sangakkara shortly before the break. Yasir Shah, the legspinner, had got one to spin back in sharply but Azhar Ali missed an opportunity at short-leg. Sangakkara was on 25 at the time. Silva, who was dropped by Yasir Shah off Riaz in the first session, had found his groove by then and moved to 52 following a quiet period of consolidation after lunch.

While Riaz was threatening despite the odd burst of inconsistency, the other bowlers were ordinary at best as Silva opened up to play some wonderful shots through the offside. Of course, it helped that there was bright sunshine to aid the batsmen as conditions eased out considerably.

But that wasn’t the case when play began at noon, two hours and 15 minutes after schedule.

Misbah-ul-Haq’s decision to field could have been proven right as early as in the second over, but for Riaz’s no-ball that gave Dimuth Karunaratne a second chance even before he had opened his account. Fortunately for Pakistan, it didn’t prove costly as he was caught behind off the same bowler shortly before lunch for 21.

A maximum of 366 overs is expected in the Test. Play will begin 30 minutes early, weather permitting, on each of the remaining days to make up for lost time.