Pakistan take lead before rain ends second day’s play
Stumps Pakistan 178 for 2 (Shafique 87*, Masood 51, Babar 28*, Asitha 2-51) lead Sri Lanka 166 by 12 runs
Only ten overs were possible on the second day of the second Test in Colombo before huge downpours rolled through the SSC and washed out the day’s play.
In that time, Abdullah Shafique and Babar Azam added 33 runs to the overnight score without any major challenges to their wickets. This meant Pakistan moved 12 runs into the lead, with eight wickets still in hand.
By mid-morning, the ground was totally covered – significant rain had fallen on the boundary areas especially – as the ground staff rushed to get the covers in place. And then showers rolled through the venue well into the afternoon.
Given the amount of rain to have fallen on the ground before the covers came on, and the time it would take to even remove the covers – there were pools of water on them – the decision was made to call off play at around 3.15pm.
Before the rain, though, Pakistan pressed their advantage, and both Shafique and Babar seemed to be playing themselves into rhythm.
Babar in particular was tentative early on against Prabath Jayasuriya, who bowled 17 dot deliveries to start his day. But eventually, Babar began to take risks against the left-arm spinner. In Jayasuriya’s fourth over of the day, Babar flitted down the track to slam him high over the extra-cover boundary.
At the other end, the runs came more freely off the seamers. Shafique had hit the first boundary of the day with a controlled hook against Dilshan Madushanka, and later, Babar struck Asitha Fernando for two off-side boundaries in an over, though one of them may have been unintentional.
That six off Jayasuriya is the stroke that brought Pakistan level with Sri Lanka’s score. The rains arrived soon after.