Karachi's National Stadium ready to welcome back Test cricket.


KARACHI -- Karachi's National Stadium will be under spotlight from Thursday as Test cricket returns to the iconic venue. Since hosting the first Test between Pakistan and India in 1955, the stadium has staged some of the most riveting red-ball encounters and has earned the reputation of being Pakistan cricket's fortress because of the national side's prolific record here. In 41 matches, Pakistan have come out victorious on 21 occasions and 18 matches have been drawn. The home team has lost two matches at the stadium, one of them being the famous England win in gloom in December 2000. The historic second Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka will see the venue host a Test match after February 2009 - also played between the same teams - and Riaz Ahmed, the head curator of the venue,

is optimistic that the fans will get to see an intriguing contest. 'The wicket and conditions at the National Stadium provide the right balance between bat and ball, ' he said. 'The morning sessions earlier in the match provide assistance to the seam bowlers. The pace bowlers come back in the limelight during the evening session with the sea-breeze coming into play. 'The batsmen have the opportunity to pile up runs across all three sessions due to the true bounce in the wicket and fast outfield. The spinners come into play as the...

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