On the back of great batting, Pakistan managed to win the first Test against Sri Lanka. Chasing down a huge target of 342 their batters made light of the run chase, getting across the finishing line with four wickets remaining. This was Pakistan’s second highest run chase in a Test match. This was also the highest run that has been chased down at the Galle Cricket Stadium.
The record-breaking win came on the back of two batters, Babar Azam in the first innings, and Abdullah Shafique in the second. Pakistan captain Azam made a resolute 119 and Shafique came up with an unbeaten 160 in the second innings to lead Pakistan to an emphatic win.
A Pakistan cricket analyst has revealed that Pakistan pace bowler Shaheen Afridi has been in massive praise of Shafique. Reportedly, Afridi said to Prasanna, a cricket analyst, ‘bhai you haven’t seen much of Abdullah Shafique and he is our next Babar Azam.”
When I had a conversation with Shaheen Afridi prior to PSL this year – he confidently said bhai you haven’t seen much of Abdullah Shafique and he is our next Babar Azam.
— Prasanna (@prasannalara) July 20, 2022
Afridi comparing the young player Shafique to Azam certainly must be a great morale boost to the batter. Babar Azam himself was also very appreciative of the 22-year-old in the post-match press conference. Talking about the opener, he said, “When you perform in different conditions as a youngster, you reach a different level of confidence. He scored against Australia so that helps a lot when you perform against quality bowling line-ups. He plays very clean and he is very focused and I expect him to score many more hundreds.
“I hope he (Shafique) can become one of the best players. After every match, you aim to work on your shortcomings and improve on what you are doing well,” Babar added.
Talking of the game, Sri Lanka made 222 in the first innings with the inform batter Dinesh Chandimal coming up with 76. Pakistan missed by four runs and made just 218 in their first innings with Azam the sole batter to impress with his 119.
In the second innings, the Sri Lanka batters did well and made 337 on the back of Dinesh Chandimal’s unbeaten 94. Chasing a target of 342 the Pakistan opener made an assured 160 to snatch the win.
Sri Lanka and Pakistan play their second Test match on 27th July at Galle.