Nauman to replace Shaheen in final Test against Sri Lanka


Sri Lankan teenager in line for Test debut against Pakistan

Pakistani skipper Babar Azam Saturday announced that Shaheen Shah Afridi will be replaced by Nauman Ali in the final Test of the series against Sri Lanka tomorrow.

Talking about Shaheen’s replacement, Babar said that the former’s absence will be felt highly but they have included spinner Nauman Ali to fill in his place.

On the fourth day of the first Test, Shaheen ex-perienced fitness issues and underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan in his leg, the spokesperson for the Pakistan Cricket Board con-firmed.

The pacer led a strong bowling attack against Sri Lanka in the first Test and took four wickets on the first day of the opening Test.

“Shaheen is our main bowler who provides us early breakthroughs. Unfortunately, he is injured so we have included Nauman Ali looking at the condi-tions here,” shared Babar.

The skipper said that the team will go with two pacers tomorrow and try to continue its match-winning performance.

Record performance

Babar believes that his team tries and works hard to produce record-breaking performance.

“As a team, we focus on record-breaking per-formances. Every player takes his responsibility sin-cerely and tries to give his hundred percent,” he praised.

“As a unit, we are doing good so far. In the end, there are also some weak areas and we will try to work hard and come up more strongly,” said the player.

Sri Lanka’s teenage spinner Dunith Wellalage has been included in the final 12 for the second Test against Pakistan in Galle, skipper Dimuth Karuna-ratne said on Saturday.

The 19-year-old Wellalage, a left-arm orthodox who awaits his Test debut, seems a likely replace-ment for injured spinner Maheesh Theekshana as the hosts look to bounce back in the two-match series after their opening loss.

“Dunith Wellalage is back in the squad” after being released from the Test squad for a domestic match, Karunaratne told reporters.

“Asitha Fernando is back in the 12. Those are the only changes,” he added on the eve of Angelo Mathews’ landmark 100th Test starting Sunday.

Wellalage, also handy with the bat, played a key role with his nine wickets in Sri Lanka’s 3-2 one-day series win over Australia last month, and could partner with Prabath Jayasuriya in the final Test.

Pakistan rode on opener Abdullah Shafique’s unbeaten 160 to chase down a record 342 at the Galle International Stadium on a tense fifth day to go one up.

Jayasuriya waged a lone battle with his left-arm spin to claim a match haul of nine wickets, but found little help from the other end.

“We did pretty well in the first Test but the con-ditions were not to our assistance,” said skipper Ka-runaratne.

“Another area that we need to work on is first innings batting.” Pakistan added left-arm spinner Nauman Ali to the team announced Saturday, in place of injury-hit pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Shaheen claimed four wickets in the first innings of the opener and coach Saqlain Mushtaq said he would be missed.

“He is inspirational, leads the bowling unit from the front, and we will miss his aggression and his presence,” he said.—APP


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