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Dhananjaya and Angelo rescue SL

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Dhananjaya de Silva celebrating his half century with Angelo Mathews. The pair added 131 runs for the 4th wicket to build up Sri Lanka innings. (pix courtesy SLC)

Angelo Matthews ( 63) and Dhananjaya de Silva ( 94) hit half centuries as Sri Lanka scored 242 for 6 wickets In the rain hit first day of the first test match against Pakistan played at Galle International cricket stadium yesterday.

Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss and elected to bat first but Pakistan paceman Shaheen Afridi made an early breakthrough and Sri Lanka struggled at 54 for 4 wickets at one stage but experienced Angelo Matthews and all rounder Dhananjaya de Silva repaired the innings adding 131 fighting fifth wicket partnership to get respectable total after first days play .

In fact Shaheen Afridi the left arm paceman entered the record books exactly one year from his last game as he took his 100 test wicket yesterday with the dismissal of Sri Lankan opener Nishan Madushka who was out for 4 in 9 balls at third over of the innings and wicket keeper Sarfaraz Ahamed took a catch . Actually last Pakistan test series at Galle Shaheen Afridi was back home due to leg injury and out of the game for the last one year and Afridi was able to make good come back by taking Sri Lanka first three wickets.

Kusal Mendis was Afridi’ s second wicket when he attempted to defend got an outsight edge caught by second slip Agha Salman scoring 12 in 14 balls. skipper Dimuth Karunaratne tried to repair the innings but Afridi struck as wicket keeper Sarfaraz Ahamed took a catch and Karunaratne was able to score 29 in 43 balls with 6 fours.

Dinesh Chandimal came to the middle to join Matthews but Babar Azam the skipper took a fine catch at slip off the bowling of Nazeem Shah and Chandimal departed for only one run and Sri Lanka were struggling at 54 for 4 wickets.However Matthews and Dhananjaya de Silva rescued the team to put on good fighting partnership under rain hit conditions.

Matthews completed his fifty in 88 balls with 7 fours but unfortunately was out for 64 in 109 balls with 9 fours while his prize wicket was taken by leg spinner Abrar Ahamed Dhananjaya de Silva was unbeaten on 94 in 157 balls with 10 fours and 3 sixes at the close 242 for 6 wickets at close. Sadeera Samarawickrama who scored useful 36 made played supporting role to Dhananjaya untill end of the day but finally he was out and game was halted for the day .Today the game will commence at 9.45am with 98 overs until 5.30 pm.

In fact the first day Sri Lanka innings halted two times by rain and this unexpected conditions put more pressure for Sri Lanka batters. After game started at 10.30 am game halted by rain but one hours time game resumed as ground staff did good work.

Once again 4.30pm another one hours time lost to rain and 5.50,pm game resumed only for 7.4 overs. The gates were open free of charge by SLC to have more spectators at Galle to encourage teams.

The experienced better Angelo Matthews said as a senior batter I have to face more pressure against a good bowling side from Pakistan but under this condition we tried to build up good innings said Angelo Matthews . Dhananjaya de Silva played really good innings after losing early wickets and we want to make more runs today to give good challenge said Angelo Matthews.

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