Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Dilruwan Perera took a brilliant five-wicket haul to lead Sri Lanka to a historic 68-run win over Pakistan on the final day of the second Test in Dubai.
Not only did Sri Lanka did triumph in their first-ever day-night Test match, but they also ended Pakistan’s unbeaten streak in Tests held in the United Arab Emirates.
Starting off the day on 198/5, Pakistan continued to edge their way closer to victory, but after Asad Shafiq and captain Sarfraz Ahmed added 27 runs to their 146-run partnership, Sarfraz was caught by Nuwan Pradeep at deep backward square leg off the bowling of Dilruwan.
Sarfraz’s innings of 68 came off 130 balls and included five boundaries.
Mohammad Amir, who has been ruled out of the ODI series with a shin injury, only made four runs before he was trapped lbw off the bowling of Dilruwan. Amir opted to review the decision after being given out, but it went in vain as the umpire’s decision was upheld.
Rangana Herath then proceeded to take out Yasir Shah for five runs before Suranga Lakmal removed Shafiq for 112, which came off 176 deliveries and included 10 boundaries.
Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Herath wrapped things up for Sri Lanka as Pakistan were bowled out for 248 when Wahab Riaz was caught by captain Dinesh Chandimal for one run.
Dilruwan was easily the pick of the bowlers with five wickets, while Herath snapped up two wickets, and Lakmal, Pradeep and debutant Lahiru Gamage claimed one wicket each.
Sarfraz was gutted to have lost, and said: “Was a tough series for us. We came close in both matches, but we haven’t played good cricket and that’s why we have lost the series. Our preparations were fine, we just missed long innings and big partnerships. Have to give credit to their spinners too, especially Herath.
“They had the advantage with their spinners. Test captaincy is a little difficult and I’ve learnt a lot. The boys are new as well and they’ll learn. We’ll do better in the future.”
Chandimal was thrilled to have bounced back after being whitewashed 3-0 by India in their last Test series, and said: “We are over the moon. This is a team performance. They put their heart and soul in the practice sessions. Thanks to the selectors again for giving us confidence. It was a tough series against India but we learnt a lot from it.
“The boys executed the game plan really well in this series. If you look at the guys, they’re really committed. Their attitude and discipline is there and that brings the spirit too. Last night it was a little difficult to bowl, especially with the dew. We knew when we come today, it will grip more. We knew Dilruwan and Rangana would do the job.”
Sri Lanka opener Dimuth Karunaratne, who scored 306 runs at an average of 76.50, was named Man of the Match and Man of the Series, and said: “I just wanted to play the anchor role for my side. I wanted to make big scores in the first innings in this series. After the India series, I think we did really well in the first Test and these ten days. Didn’t do much [with batting technique]. For seamers I made some little adjustments, but the plan was to bat longer and longer.”