Abu Dhabi [UAE], Oct. 2 : Veteran spinner Rangana Herath picked up an 11-wicket haul as Sri Lanka pulled off a dramatic win over Pakistan in the first Test of the two-match series at Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Monday.
Defending a paltry target of 136, Sri Lanka---who got thrashed at home by India---came out with a brilliant bowling performance and bowled out Pakistan for 114, thus winning the match by 21 runs in the final session of Day five and taking a 1-0 lead in the series.

Herath took six wickets in the second innings on a dramatic day when 16 wickets tumbled in three sessions.

The 39-year-old got to 400 Test wickets. He is the first left-arm spinner and the second Sri Lankan after Muttiah Muralitharan to reach the figure.

The visitors resumed at 69-4 and lost its last six wickets after adding 69 runs before getting bowled out for 138, setting Pakistan a target of 136 for victory.

The Sarfraz Ahmed-led side were never in the chase as they got to an awful start when Sami Aslam got out in the fourth over itself.

Suranga Lakmal then got Azhar Ali for a duck in the next over and he was followed by Shan Masood.

The visitors then kept chipping away at Pakistan as Dilruwan Perera and Herath got Babar Azam and Asad Shafiq respectively and suddenly Pakistan were at sixes and sevens.

The left-arm spinner went on to take three more wickets and towards the end the equation came down to Pakistan needing 25 runs to and Sri Lanka needing one wicket for a win.

There was a moment in the final moments of the game when it looked like Sri Lanka had pulled it off when Yasir Shah nicked it to short leg off Dilruwan Perera and Sri Lanka erupted in celebrations.

But replays showed that Pererra had overstepped it and Pakistan survived. However, the inevitable could not be stopped as Herath completed the coup when he trapped Mohammad Abbas leg before, handing over Sri Lanka one of their most famous wins in the recent times.

The two teams will now meet each other in the second and final Test beginning October 6 at the Dubai International Stadium, Dubai.


(Posted on 02 October 2017, 1669953486 44O200O169O3)