Sri Lanka bat as test cricket returns to Pakistan
LAHORE – Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss and opted to bat under overcast skies in the opening test against hosts Pakistan at Rawalpindi on Wednesday.
The two-match series marks Pakistan's first tests on home soil since the 2009 militant attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore. The current touring side have been promised watertight security during the visit.
Experienced middle order batsman Dinesh Chandimal is back in the Sri Lanka side for the first time since losing the captaincy after their defeat by Australia in Canberra in February.
Sri Lanka included one frontline spinner in Dilruwan Perera, dropped opening batsman Lahiru Thirimanne and brought in Oshada Fernando, who played the last of his two tests in February against South Africa.
The hosts, led by Azhar Ali, went with an all-pace attack with four fast bowlers in debutant Usman Shinwari, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi.
Opening batsman Abid Ali will make his debut in place of Imam-ul-Haq while there was no place for experienced leg-spinner Yasir Shah.
Sri Lanka - Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara
Pakistan - Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali (captain), Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Rizwan, Usman Shinwari, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Shaheen AfridiReuters