February 19, 2018

Herath's 400th Test wicket seals dramatic Sri Lanka win

03 October 2017, 02:01 | Darrell Baldwin

Rangana Herath

Rangana Herath

The seemingly easy target, however, soon loomed large as Sami Aslam (2), Azhar Ali (0), Shan Masood (7), Babar Azam (3), Asad Shafiq (20), Sarfraz Ahmad (19), Hasan Ali (8), Mohammad Amir (9), Mohammad Abbas (0) were sent back to the pavilion by Sri Lanka's brilliant bowling.

Herath's 5-93 in 40 overs were well foiled by a brilliant 76 by Test debutant Haris Sohail, as initially it looked as though Sri Lanka would take a first-innings lead. In the process Sri Lanka became the first visiting side to win a Test at Zayed stadium. He's the first left-arm spinner, 14th bowler overall and second for Sri Lanka to take 400 wickets. Perera then trapped Sohail for a leg-before to push Pakistan to 97 for seven.

Sri Lanka, who resumed at 69-4, lost their last six wickets for 69 runs but Dickwella still put up a lone fight-hitting four boundaries-and more importantly giving Sri Lanka a target to fight.

15 - Tests taken by Herath to move from 300 wickets to 400 wickets.

39 - Rangana Herath's age when he reached 400 wickets, which makes him the oldest to reach the landmark. The first two innings of this Test took 11 sessions to complete. The management and selectors gave us a lot of confidence too.

Fast bowler Mohammad Abbas (3-75) and leg-spinner Yasir Shah (3-120) sported the best figures for Pakistan. He bowled a magnificent spell that guided Sri Lanka to the narrow win. He failed miserably in the previous Test series against India, which was also his maiden series as captain, scoring only 96 runs in two Test matches at an average of 24.

With only four sessions left in the match it was never going to be simple to force a result but Test cricket is a amusing game and Sri Lanka would be bowled out for 138 before running through Pakistan. "We needed someone in the top four to get a good score and that just didn't happen". Credit goes to people like Dickwella and Karunaratne.

The second Test - a day-night match - starts in Dubai from Friday.

Analysing the causes for the defeat, Sarfraz Ahmed said:"This is part of the game but I'm very disappointed because we had recovered really well in this game". Dickwella was unbelievable in the second innings, he got us to the 140 mark. Our batsmen played well but they didn't play any long innings.

"After we got that wicket, we all celebrated as we had a win as a team, finally after a long time". All credit should go to the people behind me, from my parents to the team and the supporting staff. I've played almost 20 Tests, maybe that's why.

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