Afghanistan fightback in one off Test reducing Sri Lanka’s lead to 42 – By Rex Clementine
Source : island
A remarkable maiden Test hundred by Ibrahim Zadran helped Afghanistan to recover in the one-off Test against Sri Lanka at Sinhalese Sports Club ground in Colombo as the tourists ended day three on 199 for one on Sunday.
Having conceded a first innings lead of 241, Afghanistan had to show fight in the second essay after being shot out for 198 in the first innings.
Ibrahim went past his previous best Test score of 87 and then went onto complete his maiden Test hundred in the last over of the day with a single to covers and was unbeaten on 101. It is only the fourth Test hundred by an Afghan.
The 22-year-old opening batsman was given two reprieves; first on 39 when Prabath Jayasuriya put down a tough return catch and then on 63 Nishan Madushka at short mid-off dropped a catch again off the bowling of Jayasuriya.
The wicket had flattened out but still the Afghan batters had to show application and they put up a remarkable show as Sri Lanka struggled to find the breakthroughs.
It was a disciplined effort by the bowlers though not giving away too many loose deliveries. Jayasuriya was required to bowl long spells and he ended up sending down 32 overs but wasn’t able to pick up a wicket.
A record 106 run stand for the first wicket between Ibrahim and Noor Ali set the platform for Afghanistan’s second innings.It is a new record for Afghanistan improving on the 53 run stand between Ibrahim himself and Javed Ahmadi against West Indies in Lucknow in 2019.
After tea, Asitha Fernando tested the batters reverse swinging the ball and dismissed Noor Ali for 47 when he trapped the debutant leg before wicket. It was a much-needed breakthrough for Sri Lanka having failed to pick up a wicket in the entire afternoon session.
Rahmat Shah, the top scorer in the first innings, then joined Ibrahim and added an unbroken 93 runs for the second wicket. He was 46 not out.fea
The Concussion Substitute Rule came into effect as seam bowler Chamika Gunasekara had to be pulled out after being struck on the helmet by a nasty Naveed Zadran delivery.
A concussion test was conducted soon after the tail-ender had got hit. He continued to bat on but three overs later complained to the umpire about discomfort and after examination by the physiotherapist had to leave the field.
Sri Lanka appealed to Match Referee Chriss Broad for the player to substituted and it was allowed with seam bowler Kasun Rajitha replacing Gunasekara, who was playing his maiden Test.Earlier, Sri Lanka resuming from the overnight total of 410 for six and were bowled out for 439 as they lost their last four wickets for 12 runs.