Shafiq repays the faith

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Coach Waqar Younis insisted batsman Asad Shafiq's selection was justified, as Pakistan climbed to a promising total of 261 four for on day one of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle on Wednesday.

Coach Waqar Younis insisted batsman Asad Shafiq's selection was justified, as Pakistan climbed to a promising total of 261 four for on day one of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle on Wednesday.

Selected ahead of the talented Shan Masood and resurgent Umar Akmal, Shafiq orchestrated a fighting 55 not out during a superb 105-run alliance alongside centurion Younis Khan.

Capitalising against a host attack featuring two changes in fast bowlers Dhammika Prasad and Shaminda Eranga, the confident right-hander struck six boundaries and a solitary six during a telling 110-delivery vigil.

"Any coach or captain will be proud of that. It all boiled down to experience. Younis has tons of it and so does captain Misbah-ul-Haq. There was a lot of talk at home of whether Asad deserved to be in the side. He showed here that he belongs to the highest level," said Waqar.

Younis was pleased Misbah's decision to bat first after winning the toss reaped reward, despite the early departures of openers Ahmed Shehzad and Khurram Manzoor for a mere four and three respectively.

"With so much rain around, there is bound to be some juice in the wicket and I thought we were very bold to bat first. That paid off because the wicket eased up by afternoon," he added.

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