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Sri Lanka wins toss in test return to Pakistan after decade

Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne has won the toss and elected to bat in the first cricket test in Pakistan in more than a decade.

Sri Lanka was the last team to play a test match in Pakistan, involved in a test series here in 2009 when terrorists attacked the team's bus at Lahore. The ambush killed eight people and left several Sri Lankan players and officials injured.

The Pindi Cricket Stadium was heavily guarded on Wednesday with and spectators had to go through stringent security checks before entering.

Police commandos escorts vehicles carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team as they arrive at the Pindi stadium for the first cricket test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (AP PhotoAnjum Naveed)

Under overcast conditions, only a small crowd made it into the stadium by the time of the toss. The Pindi Cricket Stadium is hosting its first major international match since India played a test match here in 2004.

Pakistan went with the test against Sri Lanka with four fast bowlers, giving left-arm paceman Usman Shinwari a debut. The all pace attack meant Pakistan dropped specialist spinner Yasir Shah.

Opening batsman Abid Ali also made his test debut in place of Imam-ul-Haq, who struggled against Australia. Middle-order batsman Haris Sohail was given another opportunity, meaning recalled batsman Fawad Alam had to wait to make his test comeback after 10 years.

Police commandos take positions on a road to ensure security during the arrival of the Sri Lankan cricket team at the Pindi stadium for thew first cricket test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (AP PhotoAnjum Naveed)

Sri Lanka went with three fast bowlers — Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha and Lahiru Kumara. The visitors left out experienced batsman Lahiru Thirimanne and Kusal Perera but went with two spinners -- Dhananjaya de Silva and Dilruwan Perera.

Lineups:

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

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dilruwan Perera, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara.

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