One-off Test: Afghanistan fightback reduces Sri Lanka’s lead to 42 | Cricket News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Ibrahim Zadran cracked a maiden Test ton as Afghanistan produced a superb fight on Day 3 of the one-off Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo, ending at 199 for one in their second innings on Sunday.
Following a challenging first innings where Afghanistan was dismissed for 198, conceding a substantial lead of 241, they needed a resilient performance in their second innings.
Zadran (101 not out) not only surpassed his previous best Test score of 87 but also achieved his first Test ton as he bailed his side out of troubled waters and reduced the deficit to 42 at the close of play.
It is only the fourth Test hundred by an Afghan.
The 22-year-old opening batsman was given two reprieves.
The first was on 39 when Prabath Jayasuriya put down a tough return catch, and then again on 63 when Nishan Madushka at short mid-off dropped a catch off Jayasuriya’s bowling.
The wicket had flattened out but still the Afghan batters had to show application, and they put up a fine show as Sri Lanka struggled to find the breakthroughs.
It was a disciplined effort by the bowlers and Jayasuriya was required to bowl long spells, sending down 32 overs but without picking up a wicket.
A record 106-run stand for the first wicket between Ibrahim and Noor Ali Zadran set the platform for Afghanistan’s second innings.
That improved on the 53-run stand between Ibrahim and Javed Ahmadi against West Indies in 2019.
After tea, Asitha Fernando tested the batters by reverse swinging the ball and dismissed Noor Ali for 47 when he trapped the debutant leg before wicket.
It was a much-needed breakthrough for Sri Lanka, having failed to pick up a wicket in the afternoon session.
Allrounder Rahmat Shah, the top scorer in the first innings, then joined Ibrahim and added an unbroken 93 runs for the second wicket. He was 46 not out.
Kasun Rajitha was drafted into the side after debutant fast bowler Chamika Gunasekara was hit on the helmet by a nasty Naveed Zadran delivery.
Sri Lanka earlier resumed on their overnight total of 410-6 and were bowled out for 439 as they lost their last four wickets for 12 runs.
(With inputs from AFP)

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