Sri Lanka complete convincing win
Pakistan’s five-match winning streak in Tests was brought to a shuddering halt as Sri Lanka wrapped up a comprehensive 209-run victory on day four of the series opener in Galle.
After dominating the opening three days, Sri Lanka finally came up against some meaningful resistance as Younus Khan and Asad Shafiq shared a resolute stand of 151 for the fifth wicket.
Younus contributed 87 and Shafiq 80, but their efforts merely delayed the inevitable and Pakistan, chasing a nominal 510 to win, were duly dismissed for 300.
Off-spinner Suraj Randiv ran through the tail to finish with 3-86 and match figures of 7-99.
After resuming on 36 for three, Pakistan added just two runs before losing Saeed Ajmal in sloppy fashion. A mix-up with Younus saw the nightwatchman run out at the non-striker’s end by Randiv’s direct hit from cover.
Younus and Shafiq held firm for a prolonged period thereafter, although the former was fortunate to survive when Tillakaratne Dilshan appeared to have taken a catch at mid-off. Replays failed to provide conclusive proof as to whether the fielder had got his fingers under the ball, however, and Younus was able to continue.
The veteran went on to frustrate Sri Lanka with a typically gritty 213-ball innings and received able support from Shafiq, who demonstrated similar battling qualities either side of being put down by a diving Kumar Sangakkara at midwicket when he had 33 to his name.
Although largely cautious in their approach, the duo kept the scoreboard ticking over and had reduced Pakistan’s arrears to 320 by the time Shafiq edged Rangana Herath to slip shortly before tea.
Younus then departed in the first over with the new ball, caught behind looking to push a Nuwan Kulasekara delivery through the off side.
From that moment on it was merely a question of whether Sri Lanka could complete their mission prior to the final day. Despite handy contributions from Pakistan’s lower order, they were successful.
Debutant Mohammad Ayub became Nuwan Pradeep’s first Test victim when he fell lbw to a full, inswinging delivery.
Randiv then had Abdur Rehman superbly caught by Sangakkara, running back from extra-cover, and the same bowler accounted for Umar Gul and Junaid Khan in successive overs to round off a fine performance from the hosts.