First Test Match


At Kandy, February 23, 24, 25, 27. Pakistan won by an innings and 20 runs. Mendis's decision to bat first was not supported by his batsmen, who struggled to reach 100 against Imran's pace and movement off the seam and the spin of Tauseef and Qadir on a treacherous pitch, which earlier in the month, when England B played Sri Lanka, had assisted the spin bowlers from the first session. Sri Lanka suffered further setbacks from injuries to Silva and Warnaweera, an off-spin bowler playing in his first Test. In Silva's absence, P. A. De Silva kept wicket.

Pakistan also found batting difficult on the first day, losing four wickets for 58, but on the second day Mudassar and Salim Malik increased their fifth-wicket stand to 102 (192 minutes). Mudassar batted in all for 364 minutes, facing 239 balls, and was later named as Man of the Match. A lively 30 in half an hour for the last wicket between Tauseef and Wasim saw Pakistan establish a lead of 121, which Sri Lanka reduced by 7 without loss before the close. Next day they lost two wickets in the twelve overs permitted by the weather, and after the rest day they gave little resistance as Tauseef returned his best figures in Test cricket. The match was over soon after lunch, even though some 30 minutes had been lost when the umpires, followed by the Sri Lankan batsmen, Dias and Ranatunga, returned to the pavilion in protest at the abuse delivered by the fieldsmen when an appeal for a catch, from Ranatunga to forward short leg, was turned down. Play resumed after Imran apologised to the umpires.

© John Wisden & Co