Rain forces suspension of play in historic Pakistan Test

Groundkeepers work to remove water from covers following overnight heavy rainfalls during the third-day of the first cricket test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. (AP)
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Updated 13 December 2019

Rain forces suspension of play in historic Pakistan Test

  • Only 27 minutes of play was possible before the players walked off
  • Despite the poor weather, schoolchildren were thrilled when Pakistan players take selfies with them

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan's first home Test in a decade was affected by bad weather Friday, with rain and an already sodden pitch forcing officials to suspend play on the third day of the contest against Sri Lanka.
After day three's first session was washed out by wet weather, only 27 minutes of play was possible before the players walked off with just 5.2 overs bowled.
The umpires called off play at 15:35pm local time (10:35 GMT), after only 91 overs of play in three days.
Sri Lanka progressed to 282-6 from an overnight total of 263-6, with Dhananjaya de Silva on 87 -- 13 short of his fourth Test hundred.
Dilruwan Perera was unbeaten on six as stop-start play left the players and some 2,000 fans, mostly schoolkids, frustrated.
On Thursday, rain and poor light kept the teams off the field for all but 83 minutes.
For Pakistan, 16-year-old paceman Naseem Shah (2-83) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (2-58) were the most successful bowlers.
The conditions have put a dampener on the long-awaited return to Test cricket in Pakistan, following the 2009 militant attack on Sri Lanka's team bus that left eight people dead and several players and officials wounded.
But despite the poor weather, schoolchildren were thrilled when Pakistan players went to the fence to take selfies with them.
"I am over the moon as I had a selfie with (batsman) Babar Azam and my wish has come true," said Amna Ansari, a school student from Islamabad.
Hamad Ali, from Rawalpindi thanked the Sri Lankan team for touring Pakistan.
"It needed a big heart to come to a country where their team was attacked," Ali said.
"We must thank Sri Lanka and hope more teams will come to our country."
Gradual improvement in security allowed Pakistan to host limited over series between 2015-19 but foreign teams refused to play five-day games.
The second Test starts in Karachi from December 19.


Coach Misbah says Pakistan must move on from Old Trafford defeat

Updated 10 August 2020

Coach Misbah says Pakistan must move on from Old Trafford defeat

  • England sealed an unlikely three-wicket victory on Saturday after slumping to 117-5 in pursuit of 277
  • The second test of the three-match series will begin on Thursday at the Rose Bowl in Southampton

MANCHESTER — Pakistan cannot dwell on their defeat by England in the first test at Old Trafford as it would make it tougher for them to respond in the next two matches, coach Misbah-ul-Haq has said.
England sealed an unlikely three-wicket victory on Saturday after slumping to 117-5 at one point in their pursuit of 277, as Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler shared a sixth-wicket partnership of 139 runs to turn the tide.
“It was a thrilling test match and full credit must go to England for the way they fought back, came from behind and took the game away from us,” Misbah wrote in his column on the Pakistan Cricket Board’s website here
“There is disappointment, of course, but we must not keep that feeling in our minds otherwise it will be difficult to come back... the team believes we can fight back.
“Sometimes luck doesn’t favor you, sometimes the opposition plays well – that’s the beauty of the game.”
Misbah praised opener Shan Masood, who scored 156 in the first innings, as well as pacemen Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah who picked up two wickets each.
“It was a brave decision to bat first against England’s bowling attack in those conditions,” the 46-year-old said.
“Shan Masood batted really well and... should be given a lot of credit for his innings. He’s been working so hard... he’s changed a few things in his setup. He’s a different batsman.
“The bowling was also excellent. It’s a young seam attack, apart from Mohammad Abbas, and both Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah did really well.”
The second test of the three-match series will begin on Thursday at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.