Dhananjaya de Silva was moving towards making a century for the second Test running when bad light halted play on a heavily disrupted second day as Pakistan hosted Sri Lanka.

An early rain delay and bad light before the close meant only 18.2 overs of play was possible in Rawalpindi on Thursday.

Sri Lanka used the available time to increase their first-innings total from 202-5 to 263-6, with Dhananjaya still unbeaten on 72 runs from 131 balls.

He reached his fifty in 94 deliveries and had recorded 11 boundaries when umpires declared no further play was possible.

Dhananjaya also scored a century in his last Test outing against New Zealand in August.

The only wicket of the day came when Niroshan Dickwella fell for 33 off the bowling of Shaheen Afridi.

Shaheen's involvement was a boost for Pakistan after he left the field with injury on day one, and he removed Dickwella after a good low catch by Babar Azam at gully.

Number eight Dilruwan Perera has two runs and will resume alongside Dhananjaya on day three.

This is Pakistan's first Test in their home country since the 2009 terror attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore.

Teenager Naseem Shah struck twice as Pakistan fought back well on a bad-light curtailed first day of Test cricket on home soil for a decade after Sri Lanka made a promising start in Rawalpindi.

Sri Lanka were 202-5 when stumps were drawn with 22.5 overs still due to be bowled, 16-year-old pace prodigy Shah taking 2-51.

The tourists lost their way after an opening stand of 96 between Dimuth Karunaratne (59) and Oshada Fernando (40) in the first match in the longest format to be played in Pakistan since a terror attack on their team bus in 2009.

Sri Lanka lost four wickets for 31 runs in the afternoon session, but Dhananjaya de Silva will start day two unbeaten on 38 with rain forecast over the next few days.

Pakistan have an injury concern over Shaheen Afridi after he was injured fielding as they attempt to make up for lost time in a long-awaited home Test series - and their former coach Mickey Arthur's first in charge of Sri Lanka.

Karunaratne's decision to bat first looked wise when he and Oshada set about laying solid foundations, although the captain had a big stroke of luck when debutant Usman Shinwari struck his off stump early on but the bails stayed on. 

Oshada took 20 balls to get off the mark, with Karunaratne playing more fluently in a wicketless opening session that yielded 89 runs, with 57 coming off the skipper's bat.

Pakistan were more disciplined after lunch and got their rewards, Afridi trapping Karunaratne lbw and Oshada edging Afridi to Haris Sohail at first slip. 

Kusal Mendis became paceman Shinwari's first Test victim and recalled former captain Dinesh Chandimal was cleaned up by a peach of a delivery from Mohammad Abbas for only two, with Pakistan on a roll.

Angelo Mathews and Dhananjaya showed resistance with a fifth-wicket stand of 62 before the former nicked Shah to Asad Shafiq at second slip attempting an extravagant drive.

Dhananjaya played responsibility and put away loose deliveries with Afridi off the field after doing damage attempting to stop a boundary and Niroshan Dickwella was 11 not out when play was called off for the day.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani is confident Australia and England will tour the country in the coming years as they prepare for a first Test on home soil since 2009.

Pakistan face Sri Lanka - the last team to visit over a decade ago - on Wednesday in Rawalpindi, the opener in a two-game series that also includes a Test in Karachi.

Mani insists Pakistan are not planning to play future series on neutral grounds, with England "very supportive" ahead of a possible tour.

"We are due to play England in 2021-22 and we are in serious discussions with them about coming to Pakistan," Mani told ESPN Cricinfo.

"So far, they've been very supportive, so I fully expect they will come and play their cricket in Pakistan. 

"Similarly, Australia, their chief executive has been to Pakistan and he's gone back with a totally different perception from what he thought it was like."

Pakistan Test captain Azhar Ali, meanwhile, has said the series opener against Sri Lanka is a huge moment for the country.

"It's a moment to rejoice, not only for the players but the whole Pakistan nation," he said, in quotes reported by Sky Sports.

"We had a tough series in Australia and the way we lost there was disappointing. Moving forward, we see this home series as an opportunity and advantage to turn things around.

"We will try our best to fix our mistakes and improve wherever we had been lacking.

"We have outstanding talent in our squad. They have potential and, if we implement it, results will be good."

Shan Masood is relishing playing on home turf as Pakistan prepare to host their first Test match in over a decade.

Pakistan welcome Sri Lanka to Rawalpindi on Thursday for the first of two Tests to round off 2019.

It is the first time a Test will be played in Pakistan since the Sri Lanka team bus was attacked in Lahore in early 2009, with six policemen and two civilians killed.

Pakistan head into the series on the back of a 2-0 defeat to Australia, but Masood believes a return home has buoyed the entire squad, with every player eager to perform at their best in what he says is a momentous moment for the country.

"If you look at the best players in Test cricket, their home records are superior to away records," batsman Masood said.

"You are more familiar with the atmosphere, the pitches, and enjoy crowd support, and that was one thing that was missing from Pakistan cricket.

"Bringing Test cricket here is our biggest accomplishment. Test cricket as a whole suffered around the world, and in Pakistan, we've dedicated more to white-ball cricket. This is an opportunity for children in Pakistan to have a proper look at Test cricket.

"They'll look at people like Azhar Ali, who scored a 300 and a double-century in Australia. They'll look at Asad Shafiq, who has scored hundreds all around the world.

"We've got exciting pacers like Naseem Shah and Shaheen Shah Afridi. We've got Mohammad Abbas, who has been ranked number one in the world, and Yasir Shah, who has been the number one spinner in the world. Babar Azam is climbing up the Test rankings as well.

"This is a chance for our young generation to finally watch their heroes and it was unfortunate that legends like Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan couldn't play in their home grounds in the peak of their careers.

"So I'm really excited, because I feel this will propel Pakistan as a generation and the future generations of this country to take up cricket. It's almost going to be like everyone is making their debuts, because we're all playing in Pakistan for the first time."

The omens are good for Pakistan, with Sri Lanka having won just one of their last five Test series against them, though they did win 2-0 in their last encounter in 2017.

 

Former Pakistan opener Nasir Jamshed has pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe other players to engage in spot-fixing.

The 33-year-old changed his plea on Monday during his trial at Manchester Crown Court.

Jamshed, who appeared for his country in two Tests, 48 one-day internationals and 18 Twenty20s, was in 2018 charged with two bribery offences by the National Crime Agency.

He was banned for 10 years by the Pakistan Cricket Board in August last year following an independent anti-corruption tribunal.

The original charges related to an attempt to fix a Bangladesh Premier League match in 2016 and an actual incident of fixing in a 2017 Pakistan Super League fixture. 

Jamshed and two other men will be sentenced in February. 

Suranga Lakmal has withdrawn from Sri Lanka's squad to face Pakistan after contracting dengue fever.

The fast bowler will not travel with his team-mates on Sunday and has been replaced by Asitha Fernando.

Sri Lanka confirmed the news in a tweet as the squad was preparing to depart for two Tests in Rawalpindi and Karachi.

Lakmal's absence aside, the tourists boast a full-strength squad, in stark contrast to the one that headed to Pakistan in September and October, when 10 high-profile players withdrew amid security concerns. 

The opening Test begins on December 11 and will be the first in Pakistan in a decade.

Pakistan have recalled Fawad Alam to their Test squad for the two-match home series with Sri Lanka, over 10 years on from his last red-ball appearance for his country.

The series will mark the first home Tests for Pakistan since several Sri Lanka players and members of their coaching staff were injured in an attack on their team bus in March 2009.

Security concerns meant the matches were originally scheduled to be hosted at a neutral venue, but the success of limited-overs games in the country against the same opposition in September and October saw them switched to Pakistan.

Fawad has played only three Tests in his career, scoring a century on debut versus Sri Lanka in Colombo in July 2009. His last appearance came against New Zealand in Dunedin that November.

The 34-year-old middle-order batsman replaces Iftikhar Ahmed in the 16-man squad. Iftikhar scored just 44 runs across the two-match series in Australia, which Pakistan lost 2-0.

Fast bowler Usman Shinwari, uncapped in the Test arena, replaces Muhammad Musa, who posted figures of 0-114 in his only appearance against Australia in Adelaide.

Sixteen-year-old quick Naseem Shah keeps his place in the squad, and will link up with his team-mates for the Under-19 World Cup, which starts in South Africa next month, at the conclusion of the series.

Rawalpindi hosts the first match, which begins on Wednesday, with the National Stadium in Karachi the venue for a decider starting on December 19.


Pakistan squad: Azhar Ali (captain), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah, Usman Shinwari.

Brian Lara would have loved Australia to have given David Warner a greater opportunity to break his record for the most runs scored in a Test innings.

Warner struck a sublime unbeaten 335 in the second-Test hammering of Pakistan at the Adelaide Oval last week, with only Matthew Hayden (380) above him in the list of highest scores by an Australian.

However, Warner did not get the chance to beat the legendary Lara's overall benchmark of 400 not out achieved against England in April 2004 after captain Tim Paine declared, not wanting to risk the potential for adverse weather scuppering the team's chances of victory.

Lara understands Paine's thought process behind the decision, but he was disappointed Warner was not afforded more time to have a go at his record.

"Well I was hoping that they would give him an opportunity to at least go for it," he told Omnisport.

"I know Australia, first and foremost, want to put themselves in the best possible position to win the game. 

"But looking at the end of it, in hindsight, you're winning with a day to spare. It would have been nice to see someone have a go at it. 

"It is always tricky, you never know what is going to happen when you start approaching a total such as that. I remember doing it the first time in 1994 [375 not out against England], how nervous you can get. 

"But so be it, they won the Test which is the most important thing. He batted well, put his team in a great position. 

"What I like about him is he's an attacking player, which is great. You want an attacking player to be on or around such a record."

Virat Kohli has returned to the top of the batting list in the ICC Test Player Rankings ahead of Steve Smith, whose Australia team-mate David Warner is back in the first five.

Smith struggled for form in Australia's dominant series win over Pakistan and, having scored only 36 runs in the second Test in Adelaide, saw his points drop from 931 to 923.

Conversely, India skipper Kohli scored 136 in the day-night Test against Bangladesh and returned to the summit on 928 points.

Warner rose an impressive 12 places to fifth after making a sensational 335 against Pakistan, while fellow Aussie Marnus Labuschagne makes the top 10 for the first time in his career.

England captain Joe Root is back in the top 10 having slipped out last week. He climbs to seventh after a sublime 226 versus New Zealand in the drawn second Test.

Steve Smith has denied suggestions he was trying to undermine Australia captain Tim Paine in the second Test against Pakistan.

Australia earned a resounding innings-and-48-run victory over Pakistan in Adelaide to seal a 2-0 series triumph.

However, Smith – who was replaced by Paine after being banned for his role in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal last year – was accused by ex-skipper Ian Chappell of making field adjustments without first talking to his captain.

Speaking on Macquarie Sports Radio when calling the Test, Chappell said: "I tell you what I don't like to see, Steve Smith is moving a few fieldsmen around.

"He did have a chat with Tim Paine, trying to talk Tim Paine into moving a fielder on the off-side, but I'm not sure Tim Paine moved him as far as Steve Smith wanted.

"Steve Smith started moving him, I hate to see that. England used to do it a bit, blokes other than the captain and I always felt it was white-anting the captain."

Smith, though, insists his intentions were good and his only aim was to try to help the team.

"Look I only try to help Tim as much as I can, you know," he told Channel Nine. 

"He's doing a terrific job. But I give him suggestions and things like that, I only want the team to do well, I'm certainly not undermining him."

Smith was uncharacteristically out of touch with the bat, scoring just 40 runs across the two Tests but, while disappointed on a personal level, was happy to see the team perform to such a high standard.

"I always hate not being out there doing it myself but it's great to see the boys out there play so well and get us two great victories," Smith added.

Azhar Ali insists the Test progress made by Babar Azam means Pakistan have a major positive to take out of their heavy series defeat to Australia.

Pakistan lost the second Test by an innings and 48 runs on day four in Adelaide after Nathan Lyon took 5-69 in their second innings of 239 all out.

The tourists were following on after Australia declared on 589-3 in a first-innings onslaught inspired by David Warner's 335 not out.

Pakistan also lost the first Test by an innings but Azhar was unwilling to completely write off the tour ahead of two matches against Sri Lanka later this month.

Already a star in limited-overs cricket, T20I captain Babar scored 104 in the opening Test in Brisbane and 97 in the first innings of this contest.

"He's been tremendous in white-ball cricket and in the recent past he's been gradually building up his Test stats as well," Test skipper Azhar said of Babar. 

"This series definitely will be the breakthrough he wanted. We were all hopeful that he would do it.

"He's a good enough player. We all know that. But sometimes if you score in tough conditions against tough bowling attacks, it gives you the extra boost and the belief that you can make even better strides in Test cricket.

"That's been a big positive now for us that Babar has stamped himself a Test player. He's been fantastic throughout the year, lovely to watch and hopefully he can continue this form in the Tests that are coming. Babar has been exceptional."

Azhar also highlighted the performances of wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan and Yasir Shah, who scored 113 in the first innings at number eight, but conceded the series was ultimately a disappointment.

He added: "Rizwan waited for his chance and then grabbed it with both hands. The way he batted at Gabba and the way he kept wickets in both games has been fantastic.

"We didn't want to give up at any stage and Yasir put up a lot of fight.

"But it has been a disappointing series. We didn't live up the expectations that were based around this young team. It's very hard here with a young bowling attack and we came with a lot of expectations but it didn't go well. 

"To win Test matches we need to take 20 wickets and we need to work out how to do that. And also to score big in the first innings – getting ahead of the game here is very important.

"It's always hard coming to Australia and we've been beaten by a better side. But very positive for the future, we will learn a lot.

"I'd like to congratulate Australia, especially David Warner for his triple hundred."

Tim Paine has called for an end to comparisons between the pink ball and its red counterpart in Test cricket, arguing the day-night format should be embraced for its entertainment value.

Paine saw his Australia side wrap up a 2-0 series win over Pakistan with a dominant victory at Adelaide Oval, the hosts triumphing by an innings and 48 runs.

Critics of the pink ball, including Australia paceman Mitchell Starc, which is used for day-night Tests argue it acts too similarly to a white one in limited-overs cricket.

But the huge attendances in Adelaide, who witnessed David Warner make a triple century, are proof the nuances of day-night cricket must be celebrated, according to Paine.

"I think what we want is people watching Test match cricket and I think the pink-ball day-night Test certainly makes that happen," said Australia's captain.

"It's bringing new people to the game. I think what we need to stop doing is trying to compare the pink ball to the red ball. It's not going to behave the same, it isn't the same ball. 

"From a players' point of view again, day-night Test cricket creates different challenges so the best players will again find way to succeed. And Mitchell Starc has done it. His record is unbelievably good with the pink ball.

"David Warner has just got a triple century. Marnus [Labuschagne] got a 100. All the good players still score runs and take wickets regardless of the colour I think it's just a slight shift in how we think about it. 

"It's not going to behave like a red ball, it's not going to behave like a white ball. It's going to behave like a pink ball. And at the moment it's relatively new and we're getting used to it. 

"It can be a challenging fielding at night and being in the slips but I don't think that's any different to a white ball sometimes either.

"It's just something players will adapt to and get better at but in terms of the product I think it's good to watch."

Nathan Lyon claimed a five-for as Australia thrashed Pakistan by an innings and 48 runs at to seal a 2-0 series victory in the second Test at Adelaide Oval.

Australia, who declared on 589-3 after David Warner's historic unbeaten 335 and imposed the follow-on when Pakistan made 302 in response, closed out a second successive resounding triumph thanks to some fine bowling from Lyon on day four.

Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali and Babar Azam fell in the final session on Sunday but Shan Masood (68) and Asad Shafiq (57) ensured Pakistan still put up a fight by extending their partnership to 103 runs.

However, Lyon eventually weaved his magic, finding plenty of turn and bounce on a flat track to tear through the Pakistan attack and return figures of 5-69.

Australia will hope to build on a pair of thoroughly impressive victories when they take on trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand in a three-Test series starting on December 12.

Masood was aggressive from the off and brought up his fifty when he found the ropes through mid-on – one of nine boundaries that included one maximum.

The Pakistan opener narrowly evaded Tim Paine when he nudged Josh Hazlewood (3-63) down the leg side and his partnership with Shafiq soon reached triple figures.

Masood was made to pay for a poor shot selection when he chipped Lyon to Mitchell Starc and after Shafiq brought up his fifty that was as good as it got for the tourists.

A shorter delivery from Lyon bamboozled Shafiq, who could only send it straight to Warner at leg slip, but a positive start from Mohammad Rizwan (45) helped Pakistan to 167-5 at tea.

The runs did not come as freely in the second session and Iftikhar Ahmed (27) was taken at the second attempt by first-innings centurion Marnus Labuschagne ​– who had been unable to hold onto Rizwan on four ​– off Lyon at short leg.

Pakistan lost their final four wickets for just 38 runs, with Lyon trapping Yasir Shah lbw on 13 before Shaheen Shah holed out off the prolific spinner for just one run before dinner.

Hazlewood expertly bowled Rizwan with a full delivery and Pakistan's resistance ended when Mohammad Abbas (1) was run out by Pat Cummins.

Mitchell Starc spent little time worrying about his Test future after the Ashes, despite playing a minimal role for Australia in England.

Left-arm seamer Starc is playing in his 54th Test against Pakistan in Adelaide, yet his Ashes involvement was limited to the fourth match at Old Trafford, taking four wickets to help the visitors retain the urn.

The 29-year-old returned to star with seven wickets in the first-Test win over Pakistan and has impressed again this week, his match figures 7-76 at the end of day three.

Victory now appears a formality for Australia, and Starc said after Sunday's play of his role: "It's not really come into my thought process.

"Playing a bit of Shield cricket and the T20s [before the Pakistan series] was the focus to begin with, and [then to] see how the Shield games played out and if I was selected in the Test squad, then go from there.

"It was never really a worry or a focus. I was just looking forward to playing some games for New South Wales and playing some white-ball cricket."

Yasir Shah made an unlikely 113 for Pakistan, but they were forced to follow on as Starc continues to excel with the pink ball, boosting his total in day-night Tests to a still world-best 33 wickets.

"I still think it's more like a white ball than a red ball, so that's probably playing in my favour there," the bowler said.

"It still went soft for us on that wicket, as we saw through the early afternoon session today where it didn't move around much at all and the wicket was quite flat.

"When it's going through those stages, it's trying to control the scoreboard. We did that fairly well at times and then Yasir got away from us a fair bit."

Australia are seven wickets from securing a whitewash of Pakistan in their two-match series after another dominant day in Adelaide, though Yasir Shah did restore some pride for the tourists with a century.

Pakistan resumed day three of the second Test on 96-6 but a stand of 105 between Yasir and Babar Azam did see them mount a recovery of sorts.

Yasir had never previously scored 50 in Test cricket but struck 13 fours en route to 113, while Babar fell three short of a second successive hundred. Pakistan could still only manage 302 in reply to 589-3 declared and were forced to follow on against an Australia attack that continued to make frequent inroads into the visitors' batting line-up.

As they did in the final session of day two, Pakistan gave away cheap wickets at the start of their second innings and closed on 39-3, still trailing by 248 runs and destined for an emphatic defeat to end a winless tour.

Rain stopped play prematurely and could frustrate Australia on day four, but with a better forecast for day five, the hosts should have plenty of time to wrap up a 2-0 win.

Babar had been the only Pakistan batsman to emerge from day two with any credit and he continued to take the fight to Australia as he closed on a third Test century.

It did not arrive, however, as Mitchell Starc, who took 6-66 in the first innings, drew a thick edge and Tim Paine claimed a diving one-handed catch.

Shaheen Shah Afridi was trapped lbw from the next delivery but Starc missed out on a hat-trick and Yasir forged an unlikely ninth-wicket stand with Mohammad Abbas (29).

Yasir produced a gritty performance that belied his Test average of 12, yet it was more by luck than judgment that he reached his century, clipping just beyond the grasp of Pat Cummins at mid-on.

He sank to his knees and kissed the ground before twirling his bat in celebration of a feat few would have anticipated.

It was Cummins who broke Pakistan's resistance, a brutal short ball seeing Abbas caught at gully before a similar delivery was top-edged by Yasir, Nathan Lyon hanging on at deep backward square to end the best batting innings of his career.

However, Pakistan's celebratory mood did not last long into their follow-on. Josh Hazlewood trapped Imam-ul-Haq with the final ball before dinner and Steve Smith took a stunning catch at second slip to dismiss Azhar Ali as he tried to work Starc to leg. 

Intermittent rain saw the covers come on several times but Hazlewood was able to take the key wicket of Babar before inclement weather called a halt to proceedings for the day, although that will not dampen the spirits of an Australia side set to win by a massive margin.

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