Dinesh Chandimal scored his first century as Sri Lanka Test Captain to take his team to the driver’s seat in the first Test match against Pakistan at the end of day two in Abu Dhabi.


After coming onto bat when his team was struggling on 61 for 3 on day one, Chandimal, smashed 155 unbeaten runs in 372 balls with 14 fours to help Sri Lanka post a staggering 419 in their first innings.

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When it comes to batting under pressure, Chandimal might be among the best that Sri Lanka has ever produced in the longer format of the game. Among the batsmen who have scored at least 1000 runs at No. 4 or lower and arriving at the crease to bat with the team total not yet 100, Chandimal’s batting average of 45.76 ranks second only to Mahela Jayawardene. Jayawardene made 6785 runs in such innings at an average of 46.16.

Earlier in the day, Chandimal and wicket-keeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella resumed the innings, with the score on 227/4. They compiled an important 134-run partnership to help Sri Lanka get to a commanding stage. Dickwella reached his highest Test score, 83 from 117 balls before Hassan Ali induced an inside edge onto the stumps.

Despite Dickwella’s dismissal, Chandimal went onto reach his 9th Test ton, his first against Pakistan by driving Mohammad Amir through the covers for a boundary. His helmet came off immediately, the bat was raised and followed by a kiss on the helmet-badge.

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Chandimal found an able partner in Dilruwan Perera who found it a bit tough in the end but eventually found his mojo. They added 92 valuable runs for the 6th wicket to further frustrate the hosts on a tough, hot day. Perera fell on 33, becoming Harris Sohail’s maiden Test wicket.

Rangana Herath did not stay for long when he was undone by Yasir Shah who bowled 57 overs for his 3 wickets. Seamer Mohammed Abbas kept it straight and full against the lower order batsman, taking all three final wickets inside two overs as Chandimal was left to rue without partners.

The two Pakistani openers Shan Masood and Sami Aslam negotiated the final 23 overs of the day excellently notching up 64 valuable runs. The result of this Test match will solely depend on how the Pakistanis cope up with the Lankan spin barrage on day three with the pitch slowly deteriorating.