On Thursday, the captain of Pakistan’s cricket team, Babar Azam, said that his side’s most recent hero in a test match, Saud Shakeel, had improved his game and shown new strokes during his match-winning unbeaten 208 against Sri Lanka.
Imam-ul-Haq, the visitor’s opener, scored an unbroken 50 runs to help anchor a difficult chase of 131 runs on the fourth day of the first test match at Galle, which the visitors won by four wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
Shakeel, a left-handed batsman, had his first Test double century, which pushed Pakistan to 461 runs all out and gave them a healthy first-innings lead of 149. However, Shakeel was the star of the show.
His partnership with Agha Salman, who scored 83 runs, enabled Pakistan come back from being down 101-5 in their response to Sri Lanka’s 312 runs. Together, they scored 177 runs.
“Saud has made a great deal of progress. The man of the match, according to Azam, has been putting in a lot of effort since the series against New Zealand.
“He participated in two different camps in the cities of Lahore and Karachi. During our conversation, he shared with me that he had been working on perfecting a few shots, all of which he used during this inning.
“As captain, I cannot express how pleased I am with his whole performance. We had already lost four wickets before he arrived to bat, and Saud and Salman developed the partnership while he was there.
Azam continued by saying, “When your team-mate performs well and your team wins the match, it gives a lot of confidence, especially in different conditions, and youngsters like Saud, Salman, and Abrar Ahmed stepped up and performed.”
Shakeel was confident in his stroke-making during his long innings, which was followed by a cameo of 30 runs on the fifth day of the match.
On day four of the match, Pakistani spinners Noman Ali and Abrar each grabbed three wickets, while Pakistani off-spinner Salman contributed with two wickets of his own to knock Sri Lanka out for 279 runs.
The remainder of Sri Lanka’s batting was not as successful as Dhananjaya de Silva, who scored 122 and 82 respectively in the first and second innings, but the rest of the batting struggled.
The team’s captain, Dimuth Karunaratne, admitted that their batting had been ineffective.
Karunaratne told the press, “In this match, none of our primary batters were able to score any runs.”
“Normally two or three batters perform well in the top seven, but other than Dhananjaya’s contribution, there was nothing significant from the rest.”
Monday marks the beginning of the second test, which will be played in Colombo.