Left-arm Rangana Herath’s 10-wicket haul snatched the victory from Pakistan whose fragile batting once again bowed to pressure on fifth day of first Test against Sri Lanka at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
The 21-run win in the nail-biting contest steered Sri Lanka to lead the two-match series 1-0.
Spinners supported by favourable pitch condition especially on fifth day remained the determining factors in first Test. As two spinners Sri Lanka’s Rangana Herath and Pakistan’s Yasir Shah took 11 and 8 wickets each, most by any other bowler in the match.
The 39-year-old Rangana Herath also took his 100th Test wicket against Pakistan when he bowled Muhammad Amir, surpassing Indian Kapil Dev who had taken 99 Test wickets against Pakistan. Furthermore, Herath also completed his 400th wicket in his 84th Test match.
Contrary to first innings in which both Pakistan and Sri Lanka remained very much even and scored 422 and 419 runs respectively, the second innings really tested their skills and nerves. And eventually Sri Lanka, taking full advantage of winning the toss and batting first, came out as a slightly better side.
Even after taking a 3 runs lead, though it was the smallest lead having been taken Pakistan in Tests while batting second, and bowling Sri Lanka out for 138 runs, Pakistan’s batting once again struggled and was all out for 114 runs.
Haris Sohail exercised some restrain with 34 runs but no other batsman resisted and 8 of them even couldn’t enter into double figure.
From Sri Lanka, Rangana Herath bagged 6 wickets while Dilruwan Perera took 3.
It was Pakistan’s smallest margin of defeat in terms of runs in their Test history as previously it was 24 runs loss which Pakistan suffered against Zimbabwe in 2013.
Now the two teams will fly to Dubai for day-night Test match, the last of two-match series scheduled to begin on October 6.