It was like touching gold in the desert for 1-up Sri Lanka as Dinesh Chandimal’s new look charges with young debutant Sadeera Samarawickrema in the fold lighting up the Dubai track showcased by a brilliant unbeaten 133 by opener Dimuth Karunaratne who shared in an unfinished 118-run fourth wicket alliance in a healthy total of 254 for 3 wickets at the close. Sri Lanka need just a draw to record a long sought series triumph in test cricket.
The opening day of the first ever pink ball day-night second Test match signaled swift reward for Sri Lanka in quest of new vistas through some enthralling textbook batting by new boy Samarawickrema who fired his way to a rapid 35-ball 38 inclusive of five boundaries and a lusty six. It was a marvel of a knock that kindled memories of Mahela Jayawardene driving on the off as Samarawickrema ensured Sri Lanka’s fine start by a 68-run partnership for the second wicket by the former Josephian pair. Although Sri Lanka lost next man in Kusal Mendis cheaply for 01, Karunaratne found an able ally in skipper Dinesh Chandimal. Karunaratne stroked his way to the rich reward of three figures in a 133-run knock containing 15 boundaries and a six off 281 balls with Chandimal on 49 off 153 inclusive of 5 fours. For Karunaratne, it was sweet ecstasy in making up for a lost century that was surely there by a reckless run out in the first innings of the first test.
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-