2023 Recap: Analyzing the performance of Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Test

2024 has started and in this article, we are going to analyze the performance of two prominent Asian teams Pakistan and Sri Lanka in test cricket.

In the domain of worldwide cricket, 2023 saw the Pakistan cricket crew exploring a progression of difficulties and wins in the Test design. The group’s exhibition on the cricketing stage not only mirrored the singular abilities of its players but additionally featured the aggregate procedures and versatility of the crew. This article expects to dig into Pakistan’s Test cricket venture in 2023, breaking down key matches, champion entertainers, and areas of progress.

A different cluster of rivals and playing conditions portrayed Pakistan’s Test crusade in 2023. The team played both home and away series, which tested their ability to adapt and persevere. Striking adversaries included customary opponents. In 2023 Pakistan appeared in only one complete test series which was against Sri Lanka in July along with this Asians hosted New Zealand in December 2022 which concluded in 2023 January and toured Australia in 2023 December which lasted till January this year. 

2023 was an extended period of difficulties and wins for Sri Lanka. The island country, known for its rich cricketing history, confronted different high points and low points in the Test design. This article digs into Sri Lanka’s test cricket execution in 2023, analyzing key matches, champion players, and general patterns that formed their excursion on the cricket field. Sri Lanka took part in a progression of dazzling Test matches all through 2023, contending with impressive rivals from various corners of the cricketing scene. The team had to deal with many problems, which put their ability and perseverance to the test. Sri Lanka has played three test series in 2023 against New Zealand, Ireland, and Pakistan. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into these series and games to analyze the performances of these teams.

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Pakistan vs New Zealand

Pakistan was hosting New Zealand after 20 years of gap for two test matches and three ODI matches. Both teams have shown great competition against each other which ended both games without result. Both games wrapped up in a draw. The first game which took place between 26 December 2022 to 30 December 2022 was high high-scoring game only 40 wickets fell in five days and two innings were declared by the teams. That test went a draw because of the batting pitch and high-scoring game. A total of four players two from each team have scored centuries in that game while Kane Williamson went not out at 200 Devon Convey with 92 and Imam-ul-Haq with 96 were also the batters who’ve nearly reached that milestone. Despite a high-scoring venue Pakistan spiner Abrar Ahmed took a fifer in the first inning and Kiwi Spinner Ish Sodhi picked six wickets in the second inning. The second test which was being played between January 2nd to 6th was also a high-scoring game that ended up in a draw. In that test also only 29 wickets fell in five days and three batters Sarfaraj Ahmad, Shaud Shakeen, and Devon Convey scored brilliant centuries. Player of the Series Saerfaraj Ahmad was the leading run run-scorer in that series with 335 runs whereas guest spinner Ish Sodhi with 13 wickets was the leading wicket-taker. 

Pakistan vs Sri Lanka

Pakistan has visited one of its arc rivals and neighboring countries Sri Lanka in July for two test matches and guests have overpowered them with the clean sweep. Sri Lanka gave a strong competition to their neighbors at home but they fell short of registering a win in the series. In the first game, Sri Lanka was a strong side in every field but Pakistan was just better than the hosts which led them to stay ahead at the end of the game. Dhanajay de Silva scored a century in the first inning and played an 82-run knock in the second inning which showed his consistency in the game, on the other hand, Saud Shakeel’s (208) inning overpowered the Sri Lankan team which led his team to register a terrific win. Sri Lankan seamer Ramesh Mendis took a fifer in the first inning. 

In the second game, Pakistan dominated in every field and never allowed Sri Lankans to cement their foot in the field. After dismissing the opponent in just 166 runs Pakistan has scored 576 runs with the loss of just 5 wickets. Abdullah Shafique(201) and Agha Salman were the main contributors to that score. After taking the monstrous lead of 406 Pakistan bowled out Sri Lanka at the score of 188 and clinched the series after winning the last game by an inning and 222 runs. Agha Salman with his all-round performance became the player of the series, Saud Shakeel with 295 runs was the leading scorer and two bowlers Noman Ali and Abrar Ahmed with 10 wickets were the leading wicket-takers.  

Benaud-Qadir Trophy

Australia and Pakistan played their second edition of the Benaud Qadir trophy at the end of December 2023 which lasted till January 2024. The first two games were played between 14-29 December 2023 and the last in January 2024. Pakistan has lost all three games in this series and maintained their streak of not winning a series at home of Australia against Australia. Pakistan has played so poorly in this bilateral series that a single batter from the team didn’t score a century in all three games. In the first game batter David Warner who was playing the last ODI series thrashed every Pakistani bowler in every corner of the ground and scored a fabulous 164 runs which is also the only century scored in this tournament. Pakistan never showed competition in the first game and they lost the match by a big margin of 360 runs by getting bowled out at just 89 in the final inning. After the monstrous loss in the first test Pakistan made some changes in the team but again after showing some intent they lost the game again by 79 runs. After losing the second game Pakistan had nothing left to lose but they couldn’t hold on their nerves in the last test and they lost the game and the series by 3-0. Mohammad Rizwan is the only successful batter for the Pakistan team, he has scored 193 runs in two games and Mitchell Marsh(344) is the highest scorer in the series. Aamer Jamal is the highest wicket-taker for Pakistan with 18 wickets and Australian skipper Pat Cummins(19) is the highest wicket-taker in the series. 

Sri Lanka vs New Zealand

Sri Lanka toured New Zealand in March 2023 for two test matches three ODI matches and three T20I games. In the test series New Zealand has that home advantage and on the other hand Asian team was not looking in good touch for a couple of years, which resulted in Sri Lanka’s clean sweep in the series. In the first game, Sri Lanka showed some fighting intent and made the Kiwis earn the victory, after a great competition for four days New Zealand played just better than Sri Lanka on the final day and won the game by two wickets. Veteran Angelo Mathews was the only Sri Lankan batter to score a century in the game and Asitha Fernando dismissed seven batters in two innings. After a great test match, Sri Lanka collapsed in the second game in every field and lost the game by an inning and 58 runs.  New Zealand’s captain Kane Williamson and middle order matter Henry Nicolls have scored double centuries which helped New Zealand to score 580 runs in the first inning. After getting all out at 164 Sri Lanka was given follow on by Kiwis and Asians fell 58 runs short of getting over with the lead. In the second inning, Dhananjaya de Silva contributed 98 runs for a total of 358 runs. Dimuth Karunaratne was the leading run-scorer for Sri Lanka and Asitha Fernando was the leading wicket-taker for Sri Lanka in the series. 

Sri Lanka vs Ireland 

European country Ireland visited Sri Lanka in April for just two test matches and this time Sri Lanka had the home advantage and they took it. Asians showed their domination in the series and won both test matches by a margin of innings. In the first game, Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to score runs and they made record four centuries in the first inning. Dimuth Karunaratne(179), Kushal Mendis(140), Dinesh Chandimal(102), and Sadeera Samarawickrama(104) played so brilliantly and scored flabbergasting centuries against Irish bowlers, with the help of these centuries Sri Lanka has added 591 runs in the scoreboard and Ireland only managed to 143 and 168 in both innings which led them to the loss by an inning and 280 runs. Prabath Jayasuriya picked 10 wickets with seven in the first inning and became the player of the match. In the second game, Ireland batted first and somehow managed to score 492 runs in the first inning but when it came to bowling they conceded 704 runs with just three wickets in 151 overs. Four Sri Lankan batters again scored a hundred in this match, Nishan Madhushanka and Kushal Mendis smashed double centuries and skipper Dimuth Krunaratne and veteran batter Angelo Mathews scored tons. After taking the lead of 212 runs Asians managed to stop the Irish inning just before 10 runs of the lead and won the game by an inning and 10 runs. Prabath Jayasuriya again became a player of the game for picking a fifer in the first inning and Kushal Mendis for hitting 385 runs became the player of the series. 

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