GALLE (Web Desk) – A seven-wicket haul from Yasir Shah completed an emphatic turnaround from Pakistan, who took the Galle Test by 10 wickets after recovering from a precarious position at the start of the fourth morning.
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The leg-spinner grabbed a career-best seven for 76 as Pakistan on Sunday won the first Test match against Sri Lanka in Galle.
Pakistan surpassed the 90-run target without the loss of any wicket after skittling the hosts out for 206 on the final day of the rain-hit Test match.
Pakistan had been five down and 182 behind Sri Lanka’s first-innings total at the time; few could have predicted then that their openers would waltz to a target of 90 at eight runs an over a day and a half later.
The revival, sparked by Sarfraz Ahmed and Asad Shafiq’s sixth-wicket partnership and carried forward by Yasir’s fizzing legbreaks on the fifth afternoon, also vindicated Misbah-ul-Haq’s decision to bowl first. With the first day washed out, Pakistan’s best chance of winning lay in batting just once.
As it happened, they almost pulled off an innings win; Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad took only 11.2 overs to polish off the chase.
Earlier Sri Lankan opener Dimuth Karunaratne top-scored with 79, Lahiru Thirimanne made 44 and and Dinesh Chandimal was last man out for 38, but the rest of the batsmen folded against Pakistan’s incisive bowling in Galle.
The tourists, who led by 117 on the first innings, have the entire post-tea session to achieve the victory target of 90 runs and take the lead in the three-match series.
The Tests will be followed by five one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches.