Herath guides Sri Lanka to tense win against Pakistan

Taylor Byrd
October 3, 2017

Wily left-arm spinner Rangana Herath was delighted as he joined the 400-wicket club with a six-wicket haul that helped Sri Lanka to a narrow 21-run win over Pakistan in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

On the either side of tea, Sohail and Sarfraz Ahmed (19) fought hard to sticth a 42-run stand but Herath provided the breakthrough when he forced the Pakistan skipper out of his crease and had him stumped by Dickwella. He successfully claimed bragging rights to 400 wickets in Test Cricket.

Safyaan Sharif was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while Ali Evans and Michael Leask had two apiece.

Herath hasn't been always at his best against Pakistan though.

The prolific wicket-taker took 2-25 as Sri Lanka, who dominated this game for a long period of time, now needing a rearguard action to save the Test.

Niroshan Dickwella remained defiant, however, and when Pakistan's batsmen then hit nearly immediate trouble it became clear the Sri Lanka wicketkeeper's unbeaten 40 could well be significant. "I am so happy with the remarkable achievement (400 wickets)".

Haris Sohail exercised some restrain with 34 runs but no other batsman resisted and 8 of them even couldn't enter into double figure.

Earlier, Pakistan in response to Sri Lanka's 419 scored 422 in their first innings.

2 - Rangana Herath became the second Sri Lankan bowler after Muttiah Muralitharan to go past 400 wickets in Tests. 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. We have a few issues, especially in the fifth day when we come under pressure.

The match saw some drama when Sri Lanka scalped the last wicket but their victory was extended for a while as it turned out to be a no-ball.

Chasing a target of 136, Pakistan never got going and the combination of Herath and off-spinner Dilruwan Perera took advantage of a tired and sluggish fifth-day pitch to send the hosts packing for the just 114 runs.

"Dickwella was outstanding in the second innings to get us close to the 140-mark". As soon as we got there, we knew Rangana would lead us in the defence of the target. We'll try and bounce back in the next game. All credit should go to the people behind me, from my parents to the team and the supporting staff.

This average of spinners in the second innings of the match is the second-lowest in Test history when they have taken at least 15 wickets.

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