Cricket

Pakistan vs Sri Lanka: Debutant Abid Ali's historic century gives hosts last laugh in drawn first Test

  • The Associated Press
  • December 15th, 2019
  • 18:56:21 IST

Rawalpindi: Pakistan opening batsman Abid Ali made history on his debut by scoring a century in the rain-affected drawn first Test against Sri Lanka on Sunday.

Abid scored an unbeaten 109 off 201 balls to become the first batsman in international cricket to score a hundred in both his ODI and Test match debuts.

Abid Ali scored an unbeaten 109 off 201 balls. AP

Abid Ali scored an unbeaten 109 off 201 balls. AP

Pakistan’s premier player Babar Azam also continued his rich batting form and made an unbeaten 102 off 128 balls as Pakistan scored 252-2 before the match ended.

Sri Lanka had earlier declared their first innings at 308-6 in bright sunshine after bad weather badly affected the first four days of Pakistan’s first Test at home in more than 10 years.

The second Test will be played at Karachi from 19-23 December.

Abid missed out on Pakistan’s World Cup squad despite scoring a hundred in his ODI debut against Australia in the United Arab Emirates in March this year.

Abid enthralled 12,000 cricket-starved home team fans at the Pindi Cricket Stadium with some exquisite shots on both sides of the wicket.

He reached his hundred after tea by smashing seamer Vishwa Fernando to the midwicket boundary for his 11th four and then ran two runs with a cover drive to complete his dream test debut after batting for 4-1/2 hours.

Babar soon followed Abid to the three-figure mark when he drove offspinner Dilruwan Perera for his 14th boundary as the batsmen shared a 162-run stand.

Abid was unfortunate last month when he went to Australia but didn't get a chance as Pakistan lost both Test matches by an innings margin.

Abid added 87 runs for the second-wicket stand with captain Azhar Ali, who scored 36 before chipping a straightforward catch off seamer Lahiru Kumara to mid-wicket.

But Abid and Azam received loud appreciation from a big crowd before the match was called off.

Pakistan ran into early trouble when Shan Masood got out for zero as he threw away his wicket by giving a tame catch to seamer Rajitha Fernando’s full toss.

Earlier, with sun shining brightly for the first time in five days, Sri Lanka declared its first innings soon after Dhananjaya de Silva hit his sixth Test hundred.

Wet weather has badly disrupted the test match, allowing only 91.5 overs during the first three days before the entire fourth day’s play was washed out due to rain on Saturday.

Dhananjaya, who came in to bat on day one, completed his deserved test century after play resumed on Sunday with an elegant cover driven boundary off Mohammad Abbas.

Dhananjaya hit 15 fours in his four-hour knock of 102 that spanned more than four days, and 166 balls. He added 52 runs for the unbroken seventh-wicket stand with Dilruwan Perera, who remained not out on 16.

All four Pakistan fast bowlers were among the wickets with Shaheen Afridi (2-58) and 16-year-old Naseem Shah (2-92) sharing four strikes between them. Debutant left-arm fast bowler Usman Shinwari finished with 1-54 while Abbas got 1-72.

The drawn game earned Pakistan 20 points in the ICC World Test Championship -- its first points in the WTC. Sri Lanka stretched its points tally to 80 after they got 60 points from the 1-1 drawn test series against New Zealand at home.

Sri Lanka were the last team to play a Test match in Pakistan, where terrorists attacked the touring team's bus in Lahore in March 2009. The ambush killed eight people and left several Sri Lankan players and officials injured.

In the interim, Pakistan has played its home Test matches on neutral territory, mostly in the United Arab Emirates.

Updated Date: December 15, 2019 18:56:21 IST

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