Sri Lanka will play its first day-and-night Test match later this month when they meet Pakistan for a two-match series in the United Arab Emirates, the cricket board confirmed on Monday.
The Test series will start September on 28 and is due to end on October 10 with one of the games slated to be played as a day-and-night match.
Sri Lanka cricket announced a 25-member provisional squad led by Dinesh Chandimal for the Test series.
Sri Lanka will also play five one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, a board official told AFP.
A third T20 match will be played in Lahore, Pakistan subject to security clearance, the official said.
“The exact itinerary will be released shortly,” the official said adding that one of the Tests to be played in the UAE would be Sri Lanka’s first with the pink ball used in day-and-night Tests.
Last month, Sri Lanka’s cricket board approved a tour to Pakistan, eight years after a deadly militant attack against the team brought top international games there to a standstill.
Sri Lanka cricket had originally expected to play all three T20 internationals in Pakistan, including one in Lahore, scene of the 2009 attack which left eight people dead.
Leading cricket nations have shunned playing in Pakistan since the attack, in which gunmen ambushed the Sri Lankan team bus en route to the Lahore stadium, wounding at least seven players.
Since 2009, the only international team to visit Pakistan is Zimbabwe, who played five limited-overs games in Lahore in 2015. Pakistan play their “home” internationals in the United Arab Emirates.
But there were hopeful signs when Pakistan successfully staged the final of the Pakistan Super League — the rest of which was played in UAE — under heavy security in March.
Addressing the Asian cricket Council in Colombo last month, Sri Lanka cricket chief Thilanga Sumathipala called for an end to Pakistan’s isolation and urged countries to play there.
Dinesh Chandimal (C), Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Niroshan Dickwella, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernando, Lahiru Kumara, Jeffrey Vandersay, Milinda Siriwardana, Roshen Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Charith Asalanka, Shaminda Eranga and Dhammika Prasad.
Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon claimed five wickets but Bangladesh fought back to reach 253-6 at stumps on the opening day of the second Test.
Lyon decimated Bangladesh’s top order with four consecutive lbws before Sabbir Rahman and Mushfiqur Rahim put on 105 for the sixth wicket to steady the hosts in Chittagong.
Monsoon rain could disrupt play on the second day, putting pressure on Steve Smith’s men to polish off Bangladesh’s tail early as they seek a win to equalise the two-Test series.
Australia lost their first-ever Test against Bangladesh last week and dropped a fast bowler in Chittagong to strengthen their spin attack on a turning wicket.
Lyon claimed his fifth wicket in the last session when Sabbir was stumped.
But skipper Mushfiqur Rahim remains an obstacle for the tourists, unbeaten on 62 and patiently holding together the innings.
Nasir Hossain, the last recognised batsman, was the other not out player with 19 at close of play at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
Rahim and Sabbir displayed contrasting styles in their stand, with Sabbir playing adventurous shots and Rahim anchoring.
Sabbir scored his 50 off only 62 balls but slowed as Rahim became more confident, smashing his own half-century off 124 balls.
Sabbir, 25, dispatched Lyon for a six over long-on and Rahim hit two consecutive fours against Steve O’Keefe.
“The wicket isn’t easy to bat on, but we did try to play till the end of the day,” he told reporters.
“I am not really sure what is a good score here. We just have to bat as long as possible.”
Lyon, the first off-spinner to open the Test bowling for Australia since 1938, finally removed Sabbir in the 82nd over when he was stumped by Mathew Wade.
Lyon, who finished with figures of five for 77 off 28 overs, said Australia bowled very well to pick off six Bangladeshi batsmen on “a pretty docile wicket”.
“We got a bit fatigued in the later end of the day and gave too many free hits away,” he said, describing Monday as “up there with the hardest Test match cricket days I’ve ever had”.
“This would be my 69th Test match and I don’t think I’ve been tested like that physically.”
Lyon’s scalps included Tamim Iqbal, one of the architects of Bangladesh’s historic victory over Australia, who fell for just nine runs on his home ground.
He also sent back Mominul Haque, who boasts the highest batting average of the Bangladesh team.
Left-arm spinner Ashton Agar got the other wicket for Australia, as a three-pronged spin attack took the battle to the hosts.
Agar dismissed Shakib Al Hasan, whose all-round heroics earned him man of the match in the first Test, for 24.
Rahim had won the toss and opted to bat first on what looked like a spinners’ paradise. Bangladesh brought in Mominul in place of pace bowler Shafiul Islam.
Australia picked spin bowling all-rounder Steve O’Keefe, who replaced injured fast bowler Josh Hazlewood.
Hilton Cartwright replaced out-of-sorts batsman Usman Khawaja, who scored just one run each in his two innings in the first Test.
There was no consolation win for Sri Lanka in the final ODI of the five-match series at Colombo on Sunday as India completed a convincing 5-0 whitewash of the hosts.
The islanders were looking for the elusive victory which would seal their qualification for the 2019 ICC World Cup but will now have to wait for the results of West Indies’ limited-overs clashes against England and Ireland to learn their fate.
Upul Tharanga returned from his two-match suspension to captain the Sri Lanka squad and he had no hesitation in choosing to bat first after winning the toss. The hosts were bowled out for 238 runs as MS Dhoni became the first wicket-keeper to complete a century of stumpings in the 50-over format.
Chase-master Virat Kohli’s 30th ODI ton, his second in succession, ensured that the visitors made it home comfortably in the end after a slight wobble in the middle.
We look at the key talking points of India’s impressive victory as Sri Lanka were whitewashed for the first time in their own backyard.
After his scintillating 131-run knock in the fourth match at the same venue, captain Kohli continued from where he had left off as he took guard after the early loss of Ajinkya Rahane. India were in a slight spot of bother when Rohit Sharma fell soon to Vishwa Fernando leaving the visitors at 29-2.
While the islanders might have sniffed the whiff of an opportunity to claim their first win of the series at this stage, chase-master Kohli took control of the situation as he took his time to settle-down.
Once the threat was seen-off, the batting maestro’s fluid stroke-play made an appearance and there was no stopping him after that. The Delhi-born batsman pierced gaps at will and seldom did he play a rash shot as he snuffed out all hopes of a Sri Lanka victory over by over.
— ICC (@ICC) September 3, 2017
Kohli brought up 1,000 ODI runs in 2017 en-route to his 30th century to once again remind the world that he is the best batsman in the limited-overs format.
Sunday’s ton puts the Indian skipper level with Aussie legend Ricky Ponting with 30 centuries each, 19 behind the Master Blaster, Sachin Tendulkar.
Virat also tied Tendulkar’s record of eight 50-over tons against the islanders.
It was only fitting that the skipper hit the winning runs to remain unbeaten on 110.
The 27-year-old medium pacer has bowled with great control in the entire series but wickets have remained elusive for him going into the final game.
On Sunday, Kumar used his knuckle-ball delivery to great effect and reaped the rewards. The medium-pacer had opener Niroshan Dickwella completely deceived by the change of pace leading to a simple return catch to the bowler.
Kumar then saw Dilshan Munaweera deceived by the same delivery as Kohli pulled off a sensational catch at mid-off. His most important strike would come later when he broke a threatening 122-run stand for the fourth wicket by dismissing Lahiru Thirimanne. The left-handed batsman played on to an in-swinging delivery while attempting a cut to third-man.
The Indian bowler then dismissed Milinda Siriwardana and Lasith Malinga to complete his maiden five-wicket haul in ODIs.
At one stage of the game it looked like the hosts would post a total well in excess of 280 when they were cruising at 185-3 in the 39th over. After losing top-order batsmen within the first 10 overs, Thirimanne and Angelo Mathews had stabilized the innings and more as they patiently worked the bowlers around.
However, when Kumar broke the highest ever fourth-wicket partnership against India by dismissing Thirimanne, the hosts lost the plot and crumbled to a well below sub-par total of 238 all out.
Mathews had laboured to 55 runs off 97 deliveries and should have shouldered the responsibility to stay until the end after being well-set. His soft-dismissal to wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav after telegraphing the sweep shot will not look good on the experienced batsman.
Batting with a long-tail, the batsman to come failed to impose themselves after being given a solid platform as they fell one by one to the Indian bowlers.
The hosts could only muster 49 runs while losing six wickets in the final 10 overs which left the Sri Lankan bowlers with not enough runs to defend.