Sri Lanka registered a historic win by 68 runs against Pakistan in the second day-night Test match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. With this victory, the Lankan side won the series by a margin of 2-0 and became the first team to win a Test series in the UAE against Pakistan. An inspired batting by Dimuth Karunaratne and a superb spell by Dilruwan Perera in the second innings guided the visitors to a famous win.
After winning the toss Sri Lanka opted to bat on a wicket which seemed conducive for batting. The Lankans began on a positive note as Dimuth Karunaratne dug deep and skipper Dinesh Chandimal batted ably. After settling down, Karunaratne took the attack to the bowlers and went on to score a career-best 196. It was his knock which propelled Sri Lanka to 482 in their first innings. This was a formidable total for the Lankans as no team had lost after scoring as many in their first innings in Tests in UAE. For the Pakistan, the only bright spot was the Yasir Shah’s five-fer which stopped Sri Lanka from reaching the 500 run mark.
However, the home team failed to capitalize on the momentum and were dismissed cheaply in their first innings. On a tricky batting surface, Pakistan were bundled out for 262 and thereby handing Sri Lanka a vital lead of 220 runs.
It seemed all over for the home team from thereon before an inspired spell of bowling by Wahab Riaz ((4/41) saw the home team make a dramatic comeback into the match. The Test match which looked out of Pakistan’s grasp sprang to life as Sri Lanka were dismissed for a paltry 96 in the second innings.
Set with a stiff target of 317, Pakistan once again had a poor start as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Skipper Sarfraz Khan and Asad Shafiq then put together a record partnership to bring the home side close to a win. Shafiq also went on to score a fine hundred and almost managed to take his side to a win. But the dismissal of the two batsmen was the final nail in the coffin as the target proved to be a bit too much for asking on a fifth-day pitch. Ultimately Pakistan were bowled out for 248 handing Sri Lanka a win by 68 runs. After the dismal performance against India, Sri Lanka will heave a sigh of relief as this win will bring the much-needed confidence back into the side. (Courtesy Indian Express)