Saud Shakeel creates Test history

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Saud Shakeel plays a shot on the third day of the Colombo Test. —SLC
Saud Shakeel plays a shot on the third day of the Colombo Test. —SLC

KARACHI: Left-handed batter Saud Shakeel scored another fifty on Wednesday, becoming the first-ever batter in the history of Test cricket to score a half-century in each of the first seven matches to start the career.

The stylish batter achieved the feat in the second Sri Lanka Test played at Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo.

Previously, India’s Sunil Gavaskar, Pakistan’s Saeed Ahmed, West Indies’ Basil Butcher and New Zealand’s Bert Sutcliffe scored half-centuries in each of the first six Tests of their career.

Shakeel also bagged the award for Player of the Match in the first Test, which Pakistan won by four wickets in Galle last week, after he made a career-best 208 not out in the first innings.

The left-hander is also only the second Pakistan batter to hit a double ton in his first Test match away from home.

Match report

Pakistan had resumed their innings on day three at 178-2 with a lead of 12 runs.

When this story was filed, the visitors were 319-3 with a lead of 153 runs. Opener Abdullah Shafique also continued his excellent knock and had gone past the 150-run mark.

Only 10 overs of play was possible on the second day due to heavy downpour.

Pakistan dismissed the hosts in two sessions for only 166 at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground on Monday.

Sri Lanka didn’t impress with the bat after captain Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss and decided to bat first.

Naseem Shah (3-41) and Shaheen Afridi (1-44) dented Sri Lanka’s top-order as the home side slipped to 36-4.

Dhananjaya de Silva was the top scorer for Sri Lanka with 57 but only two other teammates managed double digits.

Pakistan continued to do well in the field as Shan Masood ran out opener Nishan Madushka and tailender Prabath Jayasuriya with direct throws.

Pakistan scored at a quick rate when they came out to bat.

Opener Imam-ul-Haq scored six before being caught at gully but Shafique added brisk 108-run partnership with Masood (51) to keep the visitors in control.

Asitha Fernando claimed his second wicket when Masood miscued a pull shot.

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