Pakistan Beat Sri Lanka by 4 Wickets
Colombo, July 20: Pakistanâ€™s national cricket team led by star batter Babar Azam registered a thumping win against Sri Lanka by four wickets in the first Test in Galle, taking a 1-0 in the 2-match series.
Riding high on the stylish middle-order batter Saud Shakeelâ€™s maiden double century, Pakistan scored a mammoth total of 461 runs to take a decisive lead of 149 runs over Sri Lankaâ€™s 312. Premier fast bowlers Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah claimed three wickets, each, to restrict Sri Lanka to below 350 runs in their first innings.
Shakeel was adjudged player of the match, receiving $ US 2000.
Home side Sri Lanka struggled to post an imposing total in their second innings as well but Dhananjaya de Silva shone with the bat, scoring 122 and 82 runs in his two innings. Barring de Silva, majority of the Lankan batters struggled to make any mark.
After initial hiccups, Pakistanâ€™s sinking ship was rescued by the reliable duo comprising Saud Shakeel (208*) and Salman Agha (83) as they forged a strong partnership of 177 runs after the team was reduced to 101-5. However, skipper Babar Azam failed to make any impact on the Test with the bat as he got out for 13 and 24 runs in his two innings.
In the second innings, Pakistanâ€™s spinners Noman Ali and Abrar Ahmed bowled well and claimed three wickets, each. All-rounder Salman Agha also chipped in with a couple of wickets. Shaheen Shah Afridi took two more wickets in the second innings to complete five wickets in the Test.
For Sri Lanka, spinners Ramesh Mendis and Prabath Jayasuriya were the main contributors as they took five and three wickets respectively in the first innings.
Agha Salman Ali hit a monstrous six to seal the game for his country while opening batter Imam-ul-Haq remained unbeaten on 50*.