Sri Lanka 482 (Karunaratne 196, Yasir 6-184) and 96 (Wahab 4-41, Haris 3-1) beat Pakistan 262 (Azhar 59, Haris 56, Dilruwan 3-72, Herath 3-84) and 248 (Shafiq 112, Dilruwan 5-98) by 68 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Like waves breaking upon a cliff, Sri Lanka’s bowlers kept coming at Pakistan, until eventually, the hosts cracked and splintered. So tantalisingly had the match been poised overnight, perhaps the ending was even a little anticlimactic. Sri Lanka’s margin of victory was 68 runs – a comfortable win by most standards. Though Sarfraz Ahmed and Asad Shafiq had begun confidently, the visitors needed only 5.5 overs to break that partnership, and about 90 minutes in all to wipe out the lower half of the Pakistan innings. The series had been swept, completely unexpectedly, 2-0.
Dilruwan Perera was Sri Lanka’s primary bowling figure on day five, as he had been throughout the innings, claiming two further wickets to complete a fourth career five-wicket haul. He also took that vital wicket of Sarfraz to break the mighty resistance Pakistan’s sixth-wicket partnership had mounted. Rangana Herath, who had had an uncharacteristically quiet fourth-innings until then, took two wickets of his own, and Suranga Lakmal had Asad Shafiq caught in the slips. After the battering Sri Lanka had received at home, at India’s hands, this series victory must surely rank among the most surprising results of their Test history. On the Sri Lankan balcony, support staff were ecstatic, while on the field Dinesh Chandimal led elated celebrations. The joy was justified: not counting the win in a one-off Test against Zimbabwe, this was Sri Lanka’s first Test series victory in almost a year.
Pakistan, meanwhile, have had a disappointing start to life post Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan. Sarfraz and Shafiq needed to see out seven overs before the second new ball became available, but Sarfraz’s wicket exposed the tail prematurely. That Shafiq progressed to an outstanding 11th Test hundred was almost forgotten in the final wash-up. He finished on 112 off 176 balls. The partnership with Sarfraz had been worth 173. For the first time, Pakistan have lost a Test series since moving base to the UAE.
More to follow..
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo