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RESULT
1st Test, Galle, July 16 - 20, 2022, Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka
222 & 337
(T:342) 218 & 344/6

Pakistan won by 4 wickets

Player Of The Match
160*
abdullah-shafique
Report

Fifties from Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal put Sri Lanka in command

Nawaz and Yasir picked up eight wickets between them, but the hosts now have the runs - and the history - to feel confident

Dinesh Chandimal's 23rd Test fifty helped Sri Lanka's lead past 300, Sri Lanka vs Pakistan, 1st Test, Galle, 3rd day, July 18, 2022

Dinesh Chandimal's 23rd Test fifty helped take Sri Lanka's lead past 300  •  AFP/Getty Images

Stumps Sri Lanka 222 and 329 for 9 (Chandimal 86, Kusal 76, Oshada 64, Nawaz 5-88, Yasir 3-122) lead Pakistan 218 by 333 runs
Kusal Mendis and Oshada Fernando set a platform with their 91-run partnership, the middle order then thrust Sri Lanka onward in an urgent middle session, and Dinesh Chandimal gave Sri Lanka command of the first Galle Test, hitting 86 not out off 121 balls while putting up lively stands with the tail.
Mohammad Nawaz wheeled his way to a maiden five-wicket haul, and Yasir Shah produced some spectacular legbreaks, but Pakistan's situation in this match is looking increasingly dire. On a surface taking substantial turn, they are now 333 runs behind, with one opposition wicket still to get. The highest successful chase in Galle is 268; the highest fourth-innings score of any description is 300.
Half-centuries from Fernando, Kusal, and Chandimal tied Sri Lanka's innings together, and it was the morning's third-wicket stand that set Sri Lanka up for a strong batting day. At this stage, Sri Lanka were more or less batting normally, Fernando coming down the track to create single options either side of the pitch, while Mendis played more on his back foot to take toll of the shorter deliveries, which came too often from the Pakistan spinners.
There were occasional big shots before lunch, such as when Fernando ran down the track and launched Yasir into the sightscreen roughly midway through the session. But largely, the batters were happy to wait for the bowlers to err, which they did, rarely managing to build pressure, as they gave up runs to Kusal's sweep, or Fernando's cuts. Fernando got to his half-century towards the end of the first session, but was out soon after the break, edging Nawaz to slip.
But then, thanks partly to Kusal, who reached his own fifty early in the second session, Sri Lanka raised the tempo. He began to sweep violently, and find easy singles into the outfield, until eventually, when on 76, he got the best ball of the match - a fast, but big-spinning legbreak, from Yasir that pitched well outside leg, but ripped to beat the outside edge, and clip the off stump.
Already having built a decent score, Sri Lanka's middle-order batters were undeterred by these losses. Through the afternoon session, they kept coming at Pakistan's bowlers, never with more intent than when Dhananjaya de Silva joined Chandimal at the crease. Their partnership of 40 came off 36 balls, and featured three sixes and two fours. De Silva was out to another excellent Yasir delivery that rushed him, but then Niroshan Dickwella also produced a brisk-but-brief innings to keep Sri Lanka cantering.
By tea, they were seven down, but 261 runs ahead, having scored at 4.4 runs an over through that session.
It was in a slower-paced evening session, though, that Sri Lanka truly grabbed the match by the collar. Chandimal, in perhaps the form of his life, prodded Sri Lanka on in the company of tailenders, who gamely held on for him. With Maheesh Theekshana, he produced a ninth-wicket stand worth 41, before putting on 21 in the company of Prabath Jayasuriya. He was unhurried, but efficient, hitting only four fours and two sixes through the course of the day, but still striking at more than 70. He had also hit 76 in the first innings, and a 206 not out last week against Australia.
Nawaz was the only Pakistan bowler who delivered consistently testing spells - Yasir was given to dragging his length down too often, despite having bowled some unplayable ones as well. Nawaz had taken nightwatcher Kasun Rajitha's wicket with a slider in the second over of the day, had Angelo Mathews top-edging a cut shot by getting the ball to bite off the surface, bowled Dickwella, who under-edged his reverse sweep, and snuck a quick one on to Ramesh Mendis' off stump.
He ended the day with 5 for 88; Yasir 3 for 122, having gone at 4.20 an over. Pakistan barely used their quicks, not bowling a single over of seam in the afternoon session, and keeping Naseem Shah out of the attack until the 75th over.
Of the fast bowlers, Hasan Ali was clearly the best, conceding just 15 runs from his ten overs. He was rewarded with the wicket of Theekshana late in the day.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf

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ICC World Test Championship

TEAMMWLDPTPCT
AUS19113515266.67
IND18105312758.80
SA1586110055.56
ENG22108412446.97
SL125616444.44
NZ134636038.46
PAK144646438.10
WI134725434.62
BAN1211011611.11