Inclement weather scuppered proceedings for the second successive day in Rawalpindi, allowing only 18.2 overs to be bowled on the second day, as the landmark first Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka seemed set to taper towards a draw.
In the little play that was possible, Pakistan availed the second new ball, and Shaheen Shah Afridi broke through within five overs, inducing the outside edge from Niroshan Dickwella, who kept fishing at balls outside off until he was caught at gully after being manipulated by the angle across him.
The passage before the second new ball was taken was largely dealt with easily by Dickwella and Dhananjaya de Silva, who extended their sixth-wicket partnership to 67. Pakistan’s bowlers largely bowled straight lines, but with little to no movement in the air or off the deck, Dickwella and de Silva negotiated them with crisp strokes, largely presenting a straight bat.
This, even as the drizzle began five overs into the day, and the light meter came out two overs later. One over after recording the opening reading for the day, the players made way for the covers, as the ground remained under wraps for close to three-and-a-half hours.
It took three rounds of inspection from the umpires before play eventually resumed at 1:45pm local time, in what was supposed to be an extended second session of two hours and 15 minutes. Barely a third of that allotted time had passed when the players trudged off, this time for good, as the umpires deemed the light to be too bad for Sri Lanka’s batsmen to deal with a fiery new ball spell from Afridi.