Azhar defies Sri Lanka; joins 5000 Test club

Azhar defies Sri Lanka; joins 5000 Test club

Azhar defies Sri Lanka; joins 5000 Test club

The veteran responded, "I have no idea". There was, however, a mini revival, the only bright spot at that for Lanka batting as Niroshan Dickwella and Lakshan Sandakan stitched a crucial 34-run partnership.

Openers Shan Masood and Sami Aslam also struck half-centuries to lift the designated hosts to 266 for four at the close, trailing Sri Lanka's first-innings 419 by 153 runs, making a draw the most likely outcome. "I've played almost 20 Tests, maybe that's why", he said. Herath won the man of the match for his 11 wicket haul in the game.

Speaking about the Sri Lanka's second innings, the coach said that he believed that one good inning from top order would taken Pakistan to the finish-line, but unfortunately it did not happen. Pakistan were bowled out for 114 runs as Sri Lanka completed a 21 run victory, thereby taking a 1-0 lead in the series.

Herath gave his team the much-needed wicket of a resolute Azhar Ali, luring him into an uppish drive which was brilliantly caught at short mid-wicket. It was also a first defeat for Pakistan at this venue in 10 Tests.

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Herath became the 14th bowler in all Test cricket and the fifth spinner behind his fellow countryman Muttiah Muralitharan, Australia's Shane Warne and India duo Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh to reach the 400-wicket milestone. It was, aptly, Herath, who took the winning wicket as he got Abbas plumb in front of wicket to clinch his 400th wicket and a famous win for Sri Lanka.

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. In his first 15 Tests against them, he had 65 wickets at an average of 32.81 and had taken three five-wicket hauls. If a result appeared out of the question at that point, it appeared all but certain once the Sri Lankans had crumbled to 138 all out in their second innings. We'll try and bounce back in the next game. Sri Lanka can be backed for the win at 7/4 and the draw is on offer at 3/1.

2 - Rangana Herath is only the second left-arm bowler (pace and spin) in Test history to take 400 wickets. Only Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail and Sarfraz Ahmed registered double figures as the whole batting unit fell apart. It's hard in the middle, Dickwella and Karunaratne were very good in the first innings, Dickwella was unbelievable in the second innings to get us to the 140-run mark. "We all knew the legend Rangana would come into play, and finally he did his best".

"I am really proud of this achievement", Herath said.

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