Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Sri Lanka gave batsman Mahela Jayawardene the perfect farewell from Test cricket as they completed their 2-0 whitewash of Pakistan with a comfortable 105-run victory in Colombo.
Herath was once again the star with the ball as he registered his 21st five-wicket haul.
Starting out the day on 127/7, Pakistan wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed and pace bowler Wahab Riaz converted their five-run partnership into a 29-run partnership, during which Ahmed brought up his half-century, before he was caught by Kumar Sangakkara at deep square leg off the bowling of Chanaka Welegedara.
Ahmed’s valiant knock of 55 came off 89 balls and included two boundaries.
Riaz ended up making 17 runs before he was caught by Kaushal Silva at short cover off the bowling of Herath.
Junaid Khan was unable to bat since he is still recovering after being hit on the side of the head by a bouncer from Dhammika Prasad on the third day.
Herath was the pick of the bowlers with five wickets, while Prasad snapped up two and Welegedara and Dilruwan Perera chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq was disappointed to have lost the series, and said: “I think we played good cricket in patches but credit should be given to Sri Lanka. Rangana Herath was terrific and I haven’t seen many spells like that in Test cricket. Last evening he was getting a bit more bite. Even when we were bowling we were getting a bit more spin and bounce. Today it wasn’t like that. We have to look forward, focus on the one-day series and put in some good performances.
“Not only Sri Lankans, all fans all over the world are going to miss him [Jayawardene]. I really wish him best of luck in his coming life. He will be around in one-day cricket, but in this format everybody is going to miss him. He is really a legend.”
Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews was ecstatic to have given Jayawardene to perfect farewell, and said: “It’s an emotional day. Mahela has been a pillar of strength, an older brother for me. He’s the smartest guy in the team, the go-to man always, and the effort that he makes with his knowledge and ability is wonderful. Thank you to his parents for bringing him up the way they have. It’s not going to be easy to fill his shoes. One of the best players who has ever played the game. But we have a few young players who are ready to take up the challenge.
“I’m trying to keep him [Sangakkara] as long as possible. We can’t lose both of them in a short span of time. Hope he plays for at least one more year with us.”
Herath was named Man of the Match and Man of the Series, and said: “One of the best games I have played. I’m trying to get more better, try and get some more wickets.
“This is an emotional moment because of Mahela. Thankful to him for what he has done for our team and the country.”
Finally, Jayawardene spoke for the last time in his Test career, and said: “I don’t know what to say, but I promise I won’t cry. I love you all. Thank you so much for the support all these years. I still have a little bit left and I promise I’ll give it my all for the World Cup. Thanks also to my team-mates. [Thanks] To the little one [as well], it’s been a tough journey but I think she’s enjoyed it. Thank you to the boys. Sanga, I think you still have a little bit left. It’s been great to play for Sri Lanka for so many years. I have always worn this cap with pride and passion.”