The News International. Asad Shafiq’s gritty century went in vain as Pakistan lost a Test series in the UAE for the first time, beaten by Sri Lanka by 68 runs on the fifth and final day of their second Test at Dubai stadium.
Sri Lanka had won the first Test by 21 runs in Abu Dhabi. Pakistan, chasing a tough 317 to win, were bowled out for 248 in the second hour of the day’s play.
Asad fought hard during his 112-run knock — his 11th Test hundred — and together with his skipper Sarfraz Ahmed (68) added 173 for the sixth wicket.But once their partnership was broken, Sri Lanka quickly closed in on the victory.
Pakistan skipper Sarfraz was left ruing a tough series. “It was a tough series for us. We came close in both matches, but we haven’t played good cricket and that’s why we have lost the series,” said Sarfraz.
Asad was the ninth man out when he edged paceman Suranga Lakmal to slip where Kusal Mendis took a low diving catch to end all Pakistan’s hopes of an upset win.
Asad’s 253-minute knock had 10 boundaries but he again failed to help Pakistan cross the line, just like his 137 in the lost cause against Australia at Brisbane last year.
Pakistan had looked to the overnight partnership of Asad and Sarfraz to guide them to the winning target after resuming at 198-5, needing another 119 for victory.
Both Asad and Ahmed had lucky escapes but Perera finally broke the resistance when Ahmed was caught off a miscued sweep at deep fine leg by Nuwan Pradeep.
Sarfraz hit five boundaries during his 130-ball knock. Asad brought up his hundred with a paddled sweep single off Perera. He got a reprieve on the same score when Dimuth Karunaratne dropped a low catch off the same bowler.
Perera completed his five-wicket haul when he trapped Mohammad Amir — unable to bowl in the second innings with a shin injury — leg before for four, bringing Sri Lanka within three wickets of victory.
Yasir Shah was cleaned up by Herath. The victory was brought up when Herath had number 10 Wahab Riaz caught gleefully by Chandimal for one.
Sri Lanka had gained 220 runs lead by scoring 482 in the first innings on the back of Karunaratne’s career-best 196 and then bowling Pakistan out for 262.Pakistan had won five of the previous nine series in the UAE, with four drawn.
Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal, whose team lost to India 3-0 in August, hailed “a team performance. They put their heart and soul in the practice sessions.
“It was a tough series against India but we learnt a lot from it. The boys executed the game plan really well in this series. We knew when we came today that Dilruwan and Rangana (Herath) would do the job,” he said.
Though Sarfraz and Asad had begun confidently, the visitors needed only 5.5 overs to break that partnership, and about 90 minutes in all to wipe out the lower half of the Pakistan innings.
The remaining batsmen fell without notable resistance. —
Sri Lanka won toss
Sri Lanka 1st innings 482 all-out (D Karunaratne 196; D Chandimal 62; Yasir 6-184)
Pakistan 1st innings 262 all-out (Azhar Ali 59; Perera 3-72)
Sri Lanka 2nd innings 96 all-out (K Mendis 29; Wahab 4-41)
Pakistan 2nd innings
Shan Masood c Dickwella b Perera 21
Sami Aslam c Mendis b Gamage 1
Azhar Ali c Silva b Pradeep 17
Haris Sohail c Dickwella b Perera 10
Asad Shafiq c Mendis b Lakmal 112
Babar Azam c Silva b Perera 0
*†Sarfraz Ahmed c Pradeep b Perera 68
Mohammad Amir lbw b Perera 4
Yasir Shah st Dickwella b Herath 5
Wahab Riaz c Chandimal b Herath 1
Mohammad Abbas not out 3
Extras: (lb1, nb5) 6
Total: (all out; 90.2 overs) 248
Fall: 1-5, 2-36, 3-49, 4-52, 5-52, 6-225, 7-230, 8-244, 9-244
Bowling: Lakmal 14-4-35-1, Gamage 16-5-29-1 (nb3), Herath 22.2-3-57-2, Pradeep 11-3-21-1 (1nb), Perera 26-1-98-5, Mendis 1-0-7-0 (1nb)
Result: Sri Lanka won by 68 runs
Series: Sri Lanka won the 2-match series 2-0
Man of the Match: Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka)
Man of the Series: Dimuth Karunaratne (SL)
Umpires: Nigel Llong (England) and Richard Kettleborough (England). TV umpire: Sundaram Ravi (India). Match referee: Andy Pycroft (Zimbabwe)