Pakistan Cricket Team celebrated the return of international cricket with a thumping win against Sri Lanka in the 2nd Test to clinch the series 1-0.
Pakistan waited more than a decade for the return of Test cricket in the country. Finally, Sri Lanka Cricket Team returned to Pakistan for a Two-match Test Series after successful ODI and T20I series.
1st match of the series was washed out due to heavy rain in Rawalpindi, but Pakistan came back superbly in the 2nd Test to down Sri Lanka and had some points in ICC Test Championship.
In the 2nd Test, Pakistan skipper, Azhar Ali won the toss and decided to bat 1st. The decision didn’t go well for the hosts as they were blown away for 191 runs in 59 overs. Only Asad Shafiq (63) and Babar Azam (60) showed some resistance.
In reply to there 1st innings, Sri Lanka could manage to put 271 on board. Dinesh Chandimal (74) and Dilruwan Perera were the stand-out performers for the visitors. For Pakistan, Shaheen Shah Afridi picked up his 1st five-fer in Test cricket.
Pakistan finished day two on 57/0, which meant they trailed by 23 runs. On day 3, Pakistan came with all guns blazing. Both openers brought up marathon tons before being dismissed. Abid Ali (174) and Shan Masood (135) brought up their 2nd tons, respectively. However, Abid Ali became the first Pakistani batsman to score back-to-back centuries in his first two Tests of the career.
On day 4, Pakistan continued its dominance. Skipper Azhar Ali brought up his first hundred of the year. The star of Pakistan batting line-up, Babar Azam, followed the footsteps of his skipper and scored the 4th hundred of his Test career.
Pakistan finished on 555/3 at lunch break of day 4. The hosts decided to let Sri Lanka have a bat after the break. The target for Sri Lanka was 476. The visitors finished the day 4 with seven wickets down and a total of 212. Oshada Fernando registered his maiden Test hundred in the proceedings.
On day 5, Sri Lankan batsmen failed to score any run and were bowled out for 212.
Pakistan won the Test match by 263 runs and also won the Two-match Test series 1-0.
Naseem Shah, the 16-years-old fast bowler, picked up a five-fer. He became the youngest fast bowler in the history of cricket to pick up five wickets haul in international cricket.
Abid Ali won the man of the match award for his scintillating knock of 174. Abid Ali, in the post-match presentation, said, “I would like to thank God for this. All my hard work at the domestic level has paid off. We won a home series in Pakistan after ten years, and it is a very proud moment for us. All my family, my brothers, were backing me, and I can’t thank them enough. I have a lot of confidence and self-belief in me. I try to reduce the mistakes at the skill level and work on my technique. There was pressure during my debut, the team management, and the boys gave me a lot of confidence. We worked hard during practice and played with a positive mind. We all kept backing each other. We were only trying to get a good result. The best thing today is that cricket returns to Pakistan, and we started with a win.
Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2nd Test — What Did The Captains Say
(Full Credit: Cricbuzz)
Azhar Ali: Definitely, we needed this performance. A big thank you to the Sri Lankan team from the bottom of our hearts; they don’t know how much happiness they have given us by playing here at home after so long. There are some exceptional players here in this dressing room. The last year has been tough for us as a Test team, and playing at home after a long time was emotional for us, but we wanted to start fresh on a positive note. And it has been satisfactory. There is so much talent in these youngsters; obviously, the experience will come with time. They are the best bowlers in Pakistan, and we have to back them, Abbas came back strong, and Shaheen kept asking for the ball to get his fifer. The platform was laid by the openers for us then. Centuries are crucial, but Babar and Asad got important fifties in the first innings. And then Naseem was outstanding. You have to stay calm under pressure, and that’s the job of the team management. When you are under pressure, you need to stick to the basics. Runs were long due for me, and I was practicing hard and glad that I got it now. Hopefully, I can continue with this. It is a significant advantage to play at home, especially for the batsmen who can take this confidence into an overseas series. We know how to win Test matches in Dubai, but we hadn’t played a lot here. But now we know how to win in Pakistan as well. A big thank you to all the security agencies and all those involved in the conduct of this match.
Dimuth Karunaratne: I thought we did well in the first two days. But Azhar and his team came back strongly and put us under pressure. We lost our patience as well, and in Test cricket, we need to be patient. But they outplayed us. A lead of 80 was excellent, but we bowled a lot of loose balls. We were under pressure, and they were scoring around ten in an over and couldn’t come back. They dominated after that. Oshada’s hundred was under tough circumstances. He showed us how to bat here. Lahiru Kumara was outstanding with the way he was bowling. All the others have to lift their game for the next series. Thanks a lot to all the Pakistani fans for supporting us, and a thank you to the PCB for the security they provided us.