Sri Lanka batting first in historic Pakistan home Test

Sri Lanka batting first in historic Pakistan home Test

RAWALPINDI: Sri Lanka were 89-0 at lunch on Wednesday after skipper Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss against Pakistan in the first Test of the two-match series and decided to bat first on a greenish pitch.
Dimuth Karunaratne was unbeaten on 57 and Oshada Fernando was on 26 as both batsmen gave a steady start to the visitors.
The match, being played at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, is a momentous occasion for Pakistan. There was applause when Pakistan captain Azhar Ali tossed the coin in the air to open proceedings as cricket returned to Pakistan after a decade.
National anthems of both countries were played before the play started on the historic day. The Rawalpindi stadium is hosting a Test match after a gap of 15 years. The last match here was played between Pakistan and India in April 2004.
Pakistan gradually revived international cricket with limited-overs matches against Zimbabwe, World XI, the West Indies and Sri Lanka over the last four years as security situation improved in the country.
Abid Ali and Usman Shinwari are making their Test debuts for Pakistan. Dinesh Chandimal has made a comeback to the playing XI for Sri Lanka after losing captaincy earlier this year.
Imam-ul-Haq and Yasir Shah have been left out of Pakistan squad whereas Fawad Alam, who has been recalled to the Test team after ten years, is also not included in final XI. The 34-year-old has to wait at least for one more match to play for the national side.
Teams
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dilruwan Perera, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara
Pakistan: Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali (capt.), Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Usman Khan Shinwari, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi
The second and final match of the series will be played at the National Stadium Karachi from December 19-23. Karachi last hosted Pakistan and Sri Lanka Test in February 2009.

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