Abid Ali became the first player to score a hundred on both Test and one-day debut as the rain-ruined first Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka finished in a predictable draw.

Abid was one of three players to reach a century on the fifth day in Rawalpindi, Dhananjaya de Silva (102 not out) having done so for the tourists in the morning session before Sri Lanka declared their first innings on 308-6.

Pakistan lost Shan Masood for a duck at the start of their reply but opening partner Abid, along with Babar Azam, capitalised on the opportunity to spend some time in the middle knowing the result of the contest was already a formality.

The pair came together following the departure of Azhar Ali for 36, the Pakistan captain caught at short midwicket off the bowling of Lahiru Kumara to leave the score at 90-2.

However, Sri Lanka failed to make any further inroads into the home line-up before play was called off early due to bad light.

Having made 112 on his first ODI appearance for his country against Australia back in March, Abid marked his Test bow with an unbeaten 109 from 201 deliveries. His knock included 11 fours, while he happily played second fiddle in an unbroken partnership worth 162 for the third wicket.

Babar was far more expansive in his innings, delighting the home crowd in the first Test to be staged on Pakistan soil in over a decade. The elegant right-hander reached three figures with a punch through the covers for one of his 14 boundaries, reaching the landmark in what turned out to be the penultimate over of the game.

The teams will hope for better luck with the weather when they play the second and final Test in Karachi, starting on Thursday.

No play was possible on day four of the first Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka due to a wet outfield at Pindi Cricket Stadium.

Only 32 balls were bowled on Friday due to overnight rain and bad light, after just 18.2 overs of action for the same reasons on the second day.

There was further frustration on Saturday, with play called off at midday due to more bad weather in Rawalpindi.

Sri Lanka were due to resume on 282-6 in the only innings of the match so far, Dhananjaya de Silva unbeaten on 87.

The first Test in Pakistan for a decade is destined to end in a draw.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka were again frustrated by the weather as only 32 balls were bowled on day three of the first Test at Pindi Cricket Stadium.

Just 18.2 overs were possible on the second day in Rawalpindi, and a combination of a wet outfield following overnight rain and bad light left the players kicking their heels again on Friday.

Dhananjaya de Silva moved on to 87 not out in the afternoon session after a wet outfield put paid to any action before lunch, but the umpires brought the players off in the gloom with Sri Lanka 282-6.

They did not return after tea on another cold, miserable day, with Dilruwan Perera unbeaten on six and Dhananjaya unable to press on to complete a sixth Test century.

The first Test in Pakistan for a decade is almost certainly heading for a draw.

Dhananjaya de Silva was moving towards making a century for the second Test running when bad light halted play on a heavily disrupted second day as Pakistan hosted Sri Lanka.

An early rain delay and bad light before the close meant only 18.2 overs of play was possible in Rawalpindi on Thursday.

Sri Lanka used the available time to increase their first-innings total from 202-5 to 263-6, with Dhananjaya still unbeaten on 72 runs from 131 balls.

He reached his fifty in 94 deliveries and had recorded 11 boundaries when umpires declared no further play was possible.

Dhananjaya also scored a century in his last Test outing against New Zealand in August.

The only wicket of the day came when Niroshan Dickwella fell for 33 off the bowling of Shaheen Afridi.

Shaheen's involvement was a boost for Pakistan after he left the field with injury on day one, and he removed Dickwella after a good low catch by Babar Azam at gully.

Number eight Dilruwan Perera has two runs and will resume alongside Dhananjaya on day three.

This is Pakistan's first Test in their home country since the 2009 terror attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore.

A return to the England Test team for the upcoming tour of South Africa would have felt too soon, all-rounder Moeen Ali has conceded.

Moeen opted to take a break from the longest format after a chastening experience in the first Ashes Test with Australia at Edgbaston.

He scored only four runs with the bat, suffering the ignominy of twice being undone by fellow off-spinner Nathan Lyon, while taking disappointing match figures of 3-172 with the ball.

England went on to draw the five-match series, failing to regain the urn in the process, before losing a two-match series in New Zealand 1-0.

That led to talk of Moeen returning for four Tests in South Africa, but Jack Leach and Matt Parkinson were selected as the slow-bowling options in the 17-man squad.

"It just felt too soon. The past few years have been so full-on and the plan behind my break from Test cricket was to freshen up, enjoy some new environments and get my game back in good order," Moeen wrote in his column for the Guardian.

"That is something that people perhaps don't realise is hard to do when you play all three international formats and particularly so when you are an all-rounder.

"The time away has felt quite liberating. Since my international debut in 2014, the miles on the clock have probably crept up and Test cricket is the level where the pressure and scrutiny are greatest.

"Combining it all had become a bit draining and rushing back now might have seen nothing change in this regard.

"Playing 60 Tests has meant so much to me, especially picking up 181 wickets and five five-wicket hauls, which for a guy who grew up thinking as a batter first is something I never thought possible.

"My batting is where I really want to find form again, though. Five Test centuries suggests I have it in me."

Moeen, who is set to play in the Pakistan Super League for Multan Sultans, did not rule out the possibility of featuring in the tour of Sri Lanka in March next year.

He claimed 18 wickets – the same tally as left-armer Leach - in a 3-0 whitewash in England's last Test series in the country, back in November 2018.

"The back end of the PSL coincides with the Sri Lanka Test tour in March and at this stage it is a tournament I intend to see out," he added. 

"But the franchise's head coach, Andy Flower, is someone I know I can talk to, if and when the England conversation arises again. So let's see what happens."

Teenager Naseem Shah struck twice as Pakistan fought back well on a bad-light curtailed first day of Test cricket on home soil for a decade after Sri Lanka made a promising start in Rawalpindi.

Sri Lanka were 202-5 when stumps were drawn with 22.5 overs still due to be bowled, 16-year-old pace prodigy Shah taking 2-51.

The tourists lost their way after an opening stand of 96 between Dimuth Karunaratne (59) and Oshada Fernando (40) in the first match in the longest format to be played in Pakistan since a terror attack on their team bus in 2009.

Sri Lanka lost four wickets for 31 runs in the afternoon session, but Dhananjaya de Silva will start day two unbeaten on 38 with rain forecast over the next few days.

Pakistan have an injury concern over Shaheen Afridi after he was injured fielding as they attempt to make up for lost time in a long-awaited home Test series - and their former coach Mickey Arthur's first in charge of Sri Lanka.

Karunaratne's decision to bat first looked wise when he and Oshada set about laying solid foundations, although the captain had a big stroke of luck when debutant Usman Shinwari struck his off stump early on but the bails stayed on. 

Oshada took 20 balls to get off the mark, with Karunaratne playing more fluently in a wicketless opening session that yielded 89 runs, with 57 coming off the skipper's bat.

Pakistan were more disciplined after lunch and got their rewards, Afridi trapping Karunaratne lbw and Oshada edging Afridi to Haris Sohail at first slip. 

Kusal Mendis became paceman Shinwari's first Test victim and recalled former captain Dinesh Chandimal was cleaned up by a peach of a delivery from Mohammad Abbas for only two, with Pakistan on a roll.

Angelo Mathews and Dhananjaya showed resistance with a fifth-wicket stand of 62 before the former nicked Shah to Asad Shafiq at second slip attempting an extravagant drive.

Dhananjaya played responsibility and put away loose deliveries with Afridi off the field after doing damage attempting to stop a boundary and Niroshan Dickwella was 11 not out when play was called off for the day.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani is confident Australia and England will tour the country in the coming years as they prepare for a first Test on home soil since 2009.

Pakistan face Sri Lanka - the last team to visit over a decade ago - on Wednesday in Rawalpindi, the opener in a two-game series that also includes a Test in Karachi.

Mani insists Pakistan are not planning to play future series on neutral grounds, with England "very supportive" ahead of a possible tour.

"We are due to play England in 2021-22 and we are in serious discussions with them about coming to Pakistan," Mani told ESPN Cricinfo.

"So far, they've been very supportive, so I fully expect they will come and play their cricket in Pakistan. 

"Similarly, Australia, their chief executive has been to Pakistan and he's gone back with a totally different perception from what he thought it was like."

Pakistan Test captain Azhar Ali, meanwhile, has said the series opener against Sri Lanka is a huge moment for the country.

"It's a moment to rejoice, not only for the players but the whole Pakistan nation," he said, in quotes reported by Sky Sports.

"We had a tough series in Australia and the way we lost there was disappointing. Moving forward, we see this home series as an opportunity and advantage to turn things around.

"We will try our best to fix our mistakes and improve wherever we had been lacking.

"We have outstanding talent in our squad. They have potential and, if we implement it, results will be good."

Shan Masood is relishing playing on home turf as Pakistan prepare to host their first Test match in over a decade.

Pakistan welcome Sri Lanka to Rawalpindi on Thursday for the first of two Tests to round off 2019.

It is the first time a Test will be played in Pakistan since the Sri Lanka team bus was attacked in Lahore in early 2009, with six policemen and two civilians killed.

Pakistan head into the series on the back of a 2-0 defeat to Australia, but Masood believes a return home has buoyed the entire squad, with every player eager to perform at their best in what he says is a momentous moment for the country.

"If you look at the best players in Test cricket, their home records are superior to away records," batsman Masood said.

"You are more familiar with the atmosphere, the pitches, and enjoy crowd support, and that was one thing that was missing from Pakistan cricket.

"Bringing Test cricket here is our biggest accomplishment. Test cricket as a whole suffered around the world, and in Pakistan, we've dedicated more to white-ball cricket. This is an opportunity for children in Pakistan to have a proper look at Test cricket.

"They'll look at people like Azhar Ali, who scored a 300 and a double-century in Australia. They'll look at Asad Shafiq, who has scored hundreds all around the world.

"We've got exciting pacers like Naseem Shah and Shaheen Shah Afridi. We've got Mohammad Abbas, who has been ranked number one in the world, and Yasir Shah, who has been the number one spinner in the world. Babar Azam is climbing up the Test rankings as well.

"This is a chance for our young generation to finally watch their heroes and it was unfortunate that legends like Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan couldn't play in their home grounds in the peak of their careers.

"So I'm really excited, because I feel this will propel Pakistan as a generation and the future generations of this country to take up cricket. It's almost going to be like everyone is making their debuts, because we're all playing in Pakistan for the first time."

The omens are good for Pakistan, with Sri Lanka having won just one of their last five Test series against them, though they did win 2-0 in their last encounter in 2017.

 

Suranga Lakmal has withdrawn from Sri Lanka's squad to face Pakistan after contracting dengue fever.

The fast bowler will not travel with his team-mates on Sunday and has been replaced by Asitha Fernando.

Sri Lanka confirmed the news in a tweet as the squad was preparing to depart for two Tests in Rawalpindi and Karachi.

Lakmal's absence aside, the tourists boast a full-strength squad, in stark contrast to the one that headed to Pakistan in September and October, when 10 high-profile players withdrew amid security concerns. 

The opening Test begins on December 11 and will be the first in Pakistan in a decade.

Pakistan have recalled Fawad Alam to their Test squad for the two-match home series with Sri Lanka, over 10 years on from his last red-ball appearance for his country.

The series will mark the first home Tests for Pakistan since several Sri Lanka players and members of their coaching staff were injured in an attack on their team bus in March 2009.

Security concerns meant the matches were originally scheduled to be hosted at a neutral venue, but the success of limited-overs games in the country against the same opposition in September and October saw them switched to Pakistan.

Fawad has played only three Tests in his career, scoring a century on debut versus Sri Lanka in Colombo in July 2009. His last appearance came against New Zealand in Dunedin that November.

The 34-year-old middle-order batsman replaces Iftikhar Ahmed in the 16-man squad. Iftikhar scored just 44 runs across the two-match series in Australia, which Pakistan lost 2-0.

Fast bowler Usman Shinwari, uncapped in the Test arena, replaces Muhammad Musa, who posted figures of 0-114 in his only appearance against Australia in Adelaide.

Sixteen-year-old quick Naseem Shah keeps his place in the squad, and will link up with his team-mates for the Under-19 World Cup, which starts in South Africa next month, at the conclusion of the series.

Rawalpindi hosts the first match, which begins on Wednesday, with the National Stadium in Karachi the venue for a decider starting on December 19.


Pakistan squad: Azhar Ali (captain), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah, Usman Shinwari.

Sri Lanka have appointed Mickey Arthur on a two-year deal as consultant head coach. 

It is the fourth national side the 51-year-old has taken charge of, following spells with Australia, South Africa and Pakistan.

Grant Flower has also taken up a role as batting coach, with David Saker and Shane McDermott overseeing bowling and fielding respectively.

South African Arthur, who left the top job with Pakistan after the Cricket World Cup, replaces former bowler Rumesh Ratnayake after he came in on an interim basis in August.

"It had been three very good years with Pakistan and I needed a little bit of time away," said Arthur. "The Sri Lankan job became available and I started discussions.

"I looked at the talent that's available and that's the key motivating factor - to help these young players fulfil their potential."

First up for Pakistan for Arthur's Sri Lanka will be a two-match Test series with Pakistan, starting next week.

Sri Lanka have named a full-strength squad for the first Tests to be played in Pakistan in a decade.

Ten high-profile players opted not to tour when Sri Lanka visited Pakistan for three one-day internationals and three T20s in September and October, with limited-overs captains Dimuth Karunaratne and Lasith Malinga among those absent.

However, Karunaratne will skipper a strong group that also includes Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal for the two Tests in Rawalpindi and Karachi.

The only change to the Sri Lanka squad that faced New Zealand in August sees Kasun Rajitha replace Akila Dananjaya, who is serving a one-year ban for an illegal action.

Pakistan have not hosted a five-day game since several Sri Lanka players and members of their coaching staff were injured in an attack on their team bus in March 2009.

These two Tests were originally scheduled to be hosted at a neutral venue because of security concerns but will now take place in Pakistan following the success of the limited-overs games in the country.

The first Test begins on December 11 in Rawalpindi.

 

Sri Lanka squad: Dimuth Karunaratne, Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dhananjaya De Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Lasith Embuldeniya, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lakshan Sandakan.

Sri Lanka will be the opponents for Pakistan's first Test series on home soil for a decade next month.

There has been no cricket in the longest format in Pakistan since a terror attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009.

While there has been some limited-overs internationals in Pakistan, the ICC Champions Trophy holders have had to play home Tests in the United Arab Emirates due to concerns over security.

Sri Lanka recently travelled to Pakistan for white-ball contests and have now agreed to return for Tests at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium and Karachi's National Stadium - starting on December 11 and 19 respectively.

Zakir Khan, PCB director - international cricket, said: "This is a fabulous news for Pakistan cricket and its reputation of being as safe and secure as any other country in the world.

"We are thankful to Sri Lanka Cricket for agreeing to send their team for the longer version of the game, which will contribute significantly in the PCB's efforts and drive for regular resumption of international cricket, and help in its endeavours of attracting new audiences and younger generation.

"Now that the itinerary has been confirmed, we will shift our focus on series preparations to ensure we deliver arrangements as per our very high standards.

"This series is part of our cricket celebrations and we will leave no stone unturned in putting up a show which is a memorable one for the players, officials, fans and media."

Peerless David Warner concluded a dominant Twenty20 series with another half-century as Australia made it three wins from three with a seven-wicket defeat of much-improved tourists Sri Lanka.

Australia clinched the series after just two matches following a pair of dismal Sri Lanka showings, before the 3-0 whitewash was sealed on Friday in more testing circumstances.

Sri Lanka had failed to reach three figures in the opener as their hosts celebrated a record win, before their batting effort in a nine-wicket second reverse was condemned as "unacceptable" by coach Rumesh Ratnayake.

A total of 142-6 at the MCG was therefore encouraging, with Kusal Perera top-scoring by making 57 - his side's first fifty of the series.

Yet that tally was still never likely to be enough to stop an Australia outfit powered by the resurgent Warner, who followed up knocks of 100 not out and 60no with an unbeaten 57, completing the chase on 145-3 with 14 balls to spare.

Playing for his country for the first time since a dismal Ashes series with the bat, Warner led the way in all three matches without losing a wicket on his return to a shorter format, with T20s and Tests against Pakistan now next up later this month.

It had appeared Sri Lanka might be set for further humiliation when Niroshan Dickwella departed for a golden duck in the first over, but Kusal Mendis (13) and Perera steadied the ship.

Ben McDermott had taken a simple catch for the breakthrough off Mitchell Starc's (2-32) bowling, and the next two wickets - Kane Richardson (2-25) removing Mendis, and Pat Cummins (2-23) prising out Avishka Fernando (20) - also landed kindly in the lap of the Tasmania star.

Yet Sri Lanka still did not crumble, thanks largely to Perera, who responded in a partnership with Oshada Fernando that plundered 23 off 14.

Cummins finally got rid of Perera, directing to extra cover, in the 17th over, but some solid late work from Bhanuka Rajapaksa (17 no) carried the visitors to a respectable if ultimately uncompetitive score.

Aaron Finch recovered from his first-ball exit in the second match to do the early heavy lifting with the bat for Australia, making 37 off 25 before Lahiru Kumara intervened.

The Warner-Steve Smith partnership that sped the Aussies to victory last time out was less effective on this occasion - the latter going for 13 - but the in-form opener kept to his task.

Warner found another effective partner in Ashton Turner (22 off 15), although the former might have departed when the ball dropped onto his stumps and the bails stayed on.

That let-off allowed the T20 specialist to reach his half-century and then fittingly clinch victory with a four.

Sri Lanka assistant coach Rumesh Ratnayake was "gutted" after another poor batting performance proved costly against Australia in a Twenty20 international.

Chasing 234 to win the series opener in Adelaide, Sri Lanka were restricted to 99-9 last Sunday.

And another one-sided contest played out in Brisbane on Wednesday, as the tourists were bowled out for 117 with one over to spare.

Just two Sri Lanka batsmen passed 20 as quicks Billy Stanlake and Pat Cummins and spinners Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa took two wickets each.

Australia then chased down a victory target of 118 in 13 overs, with David Warner (60 not out) and Steve Smith (53 not out) guiding their side to a convincing nine-wicket win.

"Disappointed is ... I think it's too nice a word," Ratnayake told reporters, with Australia now holding an unbeatable 2-0 series lead with one to play.

"I'm gutted, really. The boys are gutted. But [it is] unacceptable because the way we batted ... [it was] as if we, at times, we thought we were going to be all out in the 12th over or so.

"We are going to rectify it. We are going to sort of revisit [it] in our meetings and see what went wrong. It is intent which I feel was not there."

Sri Lanka entered the three-match series in Australia fresh off a 3-0 whitewash of world number one side Pakistan.

Making that triumph even better was the fact it came in Pakistan, but Sri Lanka have struggled on the fast, bouncy Australian pitches.

Ratnayake said it was a priority to correct that ahead of next year's T20 World Cup, to be played in Australia from October to November.

"Our preparation needs to be much more ... it needs to have at least a period of six weeks," he said.

"We came directly - virtually directly from Pakistan. The sub-continent wickets are different from these ... no excuses though.

"Adaptation was the thing which we did not do in the past two matches."

Australia paceman Stanlake was pleased with his night's work but preferred to talk up former Test captain Smith, who caught the eye with a terrific half-century.

"It's exciting for us. I think it's exciting for the public as well, just to watch him play T20 cricket," Stanlake said.

"Obviously, they don't get to see him do that too much.

"But yeah, he is an absolute class player, you saw how he good was tonight, again. He does it in all formats and hopefully we can see him doing it often."

The three-match Twenty20 international series concludes in Melbourne on Friday.

Page 1 of 6
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.