1st Test, Pakistan vs Sri Lanka, Day 4 preview: When will the fans get to see Babar bat?

1st Test, Pakistan vs Sri Lanka, Day 4 preview: When will the fans get to see Babar bat?

Dimuth Karunaratne Lahiru Thirimanne Sri Lanka New Zealand

Day 1 witnessed 68.1 overs of cricket; Day 2, 18.2; and now, only 4.2 overs of cricket was possible on Day 3 of the first Test on Pakistan soil in over a decade following rain, bad light, and poor outfield.

Sri Lanka added 19 over the course of these 26 balls. Dhananjaya de Silva added 15 to his overnight score to move to 87 (a show that included two beautiful drives off Naseem for fours), while Dilruwan Perera moved from 2 to 6.

There is little doubt over the outcome of the Test from here, though there are a couple of milestones worth waiting. Dhananjaya, who had scored a splendid hundred against New Zealand, is 13 short of another here. He may also get to bat on all five days of a Test.

Shaheen Shah Afridi (2/58 in his sixth Test) and Naseem (2/83 in his second) have bowled their hearts out here. Both will be going flat out in pursuit of their maiden five-wicket hauls.

Then there is another matter, that of a lot of Pakistanis batting for the first time on home soil. A lot of fans have arrived at the ground to watch Babar Azam bat; they may get their prayers answered if rain and bad light stay away on Saturday.

The Test is headed for a draw, but there are personal milestones to be achieved.

Key players

Babar Azam (Pakistan): Babar, a champion in limited-overs formats, caused quite a stir in Test cricket more with his 104 at Brisbane and 97 at Adelaide last month. The fans have been keen to watch him bat for the first time in whites on Pakistan soil.

Vishwa Fernando (Sri Lanka): With 12 wickets in 2 Tests, Vishwa had impressed everyone during Sri Lanka's tour of South Africa earlier this year. He has not played since then, and got a chance only after Suranga Lakmal was ruled out. He will be keen on proving himself.

Brief scores

Sri Lanka 282/6 (Dhananjaya de Silva 87*, Dimuth Karunaratne 59; Shaheen Shah Afridi 2/58) vs Pakistan.

Prediction

Sri Lanka to declare after Dhananjaya's hundred.