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Pakistan manage to stay on top in first Test

03 October, 2017, 08:37 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
  • Pakistan made a solid start in reply to Sri Lanka's 419

Defending a paltry target of 136, Sri Lanka--who got thrashed at home by India--came out with a brilliant bowling performance and bowled out Pakistan for 114, thus winning the match by 21 runs in the final session of Day five and taking a 1-0 lead in the series. He successfully claimed bragging rights to 400 wickets in Test Cricket.

Resuming on 49 for 3 and hoping to provide some stubborn resistance, Bangladesh were dismissed for just 90 with Rabada returning figures of 3 for 33 and Maharaj 4 for 25 as South Africa took the last seven wickets for 41 runs.

The veteran bowler stole the headlines on an action-packed final day of the first Test, bringing up his landmark scalp with the match-clinching lbw dismissal of Mohammad Abbas. Rangana Herath bagged another five-for for Sri Lanka.

After Suranga Lakmal dismissed a leaden-footed Azhar Ali and Perera took two wickets himself, Herath produced perhaps the two biggest wickets of the innings.

Meanwhile Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath achieved a colossal feat during the game.

Herath, who took 5/93 in Pakistan's first innings of 422, admitted there was help from the pitch, on which 16 wickets fell on the last day.

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed called the defeat "disappointing". In pursuit of 136, Pakistan crumbled against the Sri Lankan spin duo: Herath and Perera.

Pakistan have now been cut to 8/11 from 7/4 with Sky Bet to win while the draw is 11/8 and an unlikely Sri Lanka victory is priced at 14/1.

Herath, a long-time nemesis of Pakistan, also completed 100 wickets in 20 Tests against them, during an innings in which only debutant Haris Sohail fought with some resolve for his 34 runs. Pakistan had pinned their hopes on Ali in the post Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq era who retired in May this year after shouldering team's batting for almost seven years. As a result, Sri Lanka folded for 138. But given that a wicket has fallen every 37 balls on the fifth day of the previous two Tests in Abu Dhabi, the time saved might perhaps not be needed. Sri Lanka can be backed for the win at 7/4 and the draw is on offer at 3/1. The technology returned a verdict of "umpire's call", which no longer sees the unsuccessful team lose one of their two reviews per innings.

Dilruwan ended with 3 wickets, but the stage was set on fire by Herath who took the game by the horns and chose to turn the match in the favor of his team on the final session on the final day.

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