After a couple of horrendous months for Sri Lanka, they have finally something to cheer for after clinching the Test series against Pakistan after winning the 2nd Test in Dubai by 68 runs to take the series 2-0. It was an impressive effort by the Lankan boys especially after suffering morale shattering defeats at the hands of India which saw them getting whitewashed across formats during India’s tour of Sri Lanka.
Winning the toss Sri Lankan skipper, Dinesh Chandimal opted to bat. Riding on the back of a sensational innings of 196 by left-handed opener Dimuth Karunaratne, Sri Lanka posted a mammoth 482 on the board. He was ably supported Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella and Dilruwan Perera who chipped in with impressive half-centuries. Karunaratne’s brilliant knock was constructed with 19 hits to the fence and a solitary six.
Leg-spinner Yasir Shah continued his good work and returned with an impressive six-wicket haul by conceding 184 runs. Mohammad Abbas also chipped in with a couple of wickets. In the pursuit of the big total, Pakistan kept losing wickets at regular intervals and could never get going. Azhar Ali struggled his way to a half-century before falling to the veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath.
Southpaw Harris Sohail also chipped in with a half-century, but unlike the Sri Lankans, no batsman converted their starts into big ones. Pakistan was eventually bowled out for 262 thus giving Sri Lanka a sizeable lead of 220 runs. Spinners Rangana Herath and Diilruwan Perera bagged three wickets each while Suranga Lakmal and Lahiru Gamage also got two scalps behind their names.
Sri Lanka was in the driver’s seat after getting a huge first innings lead, but much like their inconsistent performances in the past few months, the Lankans came crashing down in their 2nd essay and were bowled out for a mere 96 runs in 26 overs. Wahab Riaz yet again proved why he is considered as one of the most inconsistent bowlers in world cricket.
After a horrendous outing in the 1st innings which saw Riaz missing the bowling run-up five times on the trot, the fiery left-arm fast bowler came back strongly and finished with exceptional figures of 4/41 in 9 overs. He bowled with venom, and the Sri Lankan batsman couldn’t cope with the pace and bounce of the speedster.
He dismissed the centurion from the 1st innings Karunaratne with a superb delivery which came back tailing in after pitching. Kusal Mendis was the highest scorer for Sri Lanka who chipped in with a valuable 29 which eventually proved crucial in the outcome of the match. Yasir Shah also bagged a couple of wickets, while part-time bowler Harris Sohail bagged three wickets in a single over to finish off proceedings for the Lankans.
Chasing a target of 317 runs, Pakistan were jolted early as they lost their first five wickets for a mere 52 runs before Asad Shafiq and Sarafaraz Ahmed staged a dramatic comeback and almost helped Pakistan chase down the total. Shafiq struck some delightful shots en route to a sensational century, while captain Sarfaraz lost his wickets after making a well constructed 68. The duo shared a mammoth stand of 173 runs, but after the fall of Sarfaraz’s wicket, it was a procession of sorts as Pakistan lost their last five wickets for a mere 23 runs.
Dilruwan Perera bagged a five-wicket haul while Rangana Herath also chipped in with a couple. The two teams again meet for the five-match ODI series starting from 10th October in Dubai.
Sri Lanka 1st innings 482 all-out (Dimuth Karunaratne 196, Yasir Shah 6/184)
Pakistan 1st innings 262 all-out (Azhar Ali 58, Rangana Herath 3/54, Dilruwan Perera 3/72)
Sri Lanka 2nd innings 96 all-out (Kusal Mendis 29, Wahab Riaz 4/41, Harris Sohail 3/1)
Pakistan 248 all-out (Asad Shafiq 112, Dilruwan Perera 5/98)
Sri Lanka won by 68 runs.