Session updates from the first day of play in the third Test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Sharjah.
Pakistan v Sri Lanka: Session updates from Sharjah Test
Paul Radley will be providing regular session updates from the third Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium
SHARJAH // Another chastening day for world cricket ended with Pakistan's players harking back to a time when the sport was still considered a game for gentlemen.
With light drawing in across Sharjah Cricket Stadium, the umpires ushered the two sides back to the dressing rooms. That was the signal for Pakistan's players to form a file to shake the hand of Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lankan centurion, and congratulate him on another fine day's work.
Sangakkara, the leading scorer in this series so far, ended the day unbeaten on 112 and sizing up a second double-century in the series. Sri Lanka need to win this Test to halve the series, and they have certainly started in the best way possible, having closed day one on a dominant 245 for two.
SHARJAH // The hours of toil which Pakistan’s bowlers must have been fearing when the coin fell in Sri Lanka’s favour at the toss extended throughout a featureless afternoon session at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara feasted on a typical Sharjah shirtfront, extending their unbroken partnership to 166 at tea on the first day.
In the absence of any fair fight between bat and ball, the spirit of competition has been sustained by a race to see which of the two Sri Lankan batsmen will reach three figures first.
Dilshan, the captain, appears to be winning the battle. He had reached 90 while Sangakkara, the leading run scorer in the series to date, is on 72 at the intermission.
Sri Lanka made a strong start in their pursuit of a series-leveling win, after they reached 75 for one at lunch on the first day of the third Test.
Tillakaratne Dilshan, their captain, had given a statement of intent before a ball was even bowled, by promoting himself back to the top of the order.
The eye-catching batsman has suffered a lean run of late, but restoring himself to the opener’s slot in the line-up appears to have done the trick so far.
He survived a sizeable appeal for caught behind off Umar Gul on the brink of lunch, but was unbeaten on 33 at the interval.
Kumar Sangakkara, Dilshan’s in-form predecessor as captain, looks ready to post another in his series of big scores, as he is undefeated on 35.
Pakistan had struck in the first over of the game when Tharanga Paranavitana fell to Gul, having been dropped off the previous delivery.