Sri Lanka seals series win as Shafiq century proves in vain

Karunaratne plays a shot during the second day. —AFP

Sri Lanka, who won the first Test in Abu Dhabi by 21 runs, also became the first team to beat Pakistan in a Test series in their adopted home of the UAE. At the interval Asad Shafiq (four) and Sarfraz Ahmed (seven) were at the crease as Pakistan, needing another 255 runs to win, face their first series defeat in United Arab Emirates since adopting it as their home venue in 2009. Asad is standing with 86 runs and Sarfraz has scored 57 runs till the end of the 4th day.

It is worth mentioning here that Sri Lanka is leading the two-match Test series 1-0.

The defeat is Pakistan's first in ten series in United Arab Emirates, their adopted home since 2009 terror attacks on the Sri Lankan team, which suspended global cricket back home.

Chandimal was thrilled to have bounced back after being whitewashed 3-0 by India in their last Test series, and said: "We are over the moon".

Earlier, off-spinner Dilruwan Perera took three wickets to push Sri Lanka closer to an impressive win. "Their attitude and disciplibne is there and that brings the spirit too". This was my first series as captain and it was pretty tough.




On the fifth afternoon, however, after the field had dried, Sri Lanka began taking wickets again.

In a major blow to Pakistan, pacer Mohammad Amir has been ruled out of the ODI series against Sri Lanka due to a stress-related injury in the right shin. Sri Lanka's confidence was down after losing every match during a visit by India recently, followed by a first five-match series loss to Zimbabwe in one-day internationals.

And yet, when the win came, it was Dinesh Chandimal, the captain who took the catch of Wahab Riaz at deep extra cover, off the bowling of the most experienced player in the side, Rangana Herath. Despite the eventual triumph, Chandimal bemoaned the lost opportunity to lock Pakistan out of the match much earlier than they did. "I knew they would do their job in this session and I am really happy with the way we played". "I got to learn a lot as captain", said Ahmed.

Next man in, Dilruwan could not survive the assault as he was trapped by Yasir Shah in front of wicket for a nought to leave Lanka in tatters despite a cushion of 220-run first innings lead.

"Test captaincy is a little hard and I've learnt a lot. The boys are new as well and they'll learn, we'll do better in the future".

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