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Heavy rain before lunch stops play in first Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka


AP19346230695033

RAWALPINDI: Heavy rain on Thursday has allowed only 7.5 overs before lunch in the first cricket test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka on the second day.

Resuming on 202-5, Sri Lanka added 20 runs without further loss before the rain arrived. Dhananjaya de Silva, resuming on 38, completed his sixth Test half-century and was unbeaten on 54 while Niroshan Dickwella was not out on 15.

Sri Lanka was the last team to play a test match in Pakistan, in a series in 2009 when terrorists attacked the touring team's bus in Lahore. The ambush killed eight people and left several Sri Lankan players and officials injured.

In the interim, Pakistan has played its home test matches on neutral territory, mostly in the United Arab Emirates. Despite heavy rain, a handful of spectators, comprising mostly students, waited in the stands in hopes the match will resume after lunch.

The cricket-starved fans of Rawalpindi are witnessing their first test match in 15 years since India last defeated Pakistan by an innings in 2004. "I will wait in the stands until the play is called off. I didn't go to school today and will pray to see some live action later in the afternoon," said Ibrahim Murtaza, a 15-year-old student.

Earlier, during 35 minutes in the first session, Dickwella and Dhananjaya survived against Pakistan seamers. Shah induced an edge of Dhananjaya’s bat in his third over of the morning but was declared not out after television replays showed the ball had kissed the grass before wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan caught it.

Dhananjaya completed his half-century off the next ball when he played an on-drive off a full toss and ran for two runs before the rain arrived. Dhananjaya hit eight fours and faced 104 balls.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)