Jayasuriya takes four wickets, puts Sri Lanka in command against Afghanistan

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Left-arm spinner Prabath Jayasuriya took four wickets on Monday, placing Sri Lanka in a commanding position in the only test against Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s team had a strong start but was reduced to 252 for seven at lunch on the fourth day at the Sinhalese Sports Club.

Afghanistan, resuming the day at 199 for one, lost six wickets for 53 runs in the session. They now lead by just seven runs in the second innings with three wickets remaining. Afghanistan scored 198 in their first innings and conceded a 241-run lead after bowling Sri Lanka out for 439.

The visitors, needing only 42 runs to cover the deficit, had high hopes of building a substantial score, particularly after Ibrahim Zadran and Noor Ali Zadran (47) posted a century partnership, their highest for the first wicket. Following Noor Ali’s dismissal, Ibrahim partnered with Rahmat Shah for an unbeaten 93-run stand for the second wicket.

However, Afghanistan’s inexperience prevented them from capitalizing on this foundation.

Fast bowler Kasun Rajitha, a concussion substitute for Chamika Gunasekara, made the initial breakthrough with the second new ball, claiming Shah caught behind for 54 runs by Sadeera Samarawickrama. Shah’s innings followed his first innings top-score of 91.

Naseer Jamal was at the crease with 7 runs, joined by tailender Naveed Zadran yet to score.

This match marks the first test between the two nations since Afghanistan achieved test playing status in 2018.