Niroshan Dickwella ripped off the stumps as soon Yasir Shah was caught at short-leg. Sri Lanka were running around in joy of victory. But, soon the third umpire confirmed that Dilriwan Perera has over-stepped. Sri Lanka had to redo the last wicket. A perfect would have seen Ranagana Herath get the final wicket and claim his 400th Test victim. And aptly, it was Herath who got Mohammad Abbas leg-before wicket as the final Pakistan wicket and gave Sri Lanka a memorable 21-run win in Abu Dhabi.
Herath took six wickets for 45 runs and was ably supported by Dilruwan’s three wickets as Sri Lanka bowled out Pakistan for 114 after setting a lowly target of 136 runs. This was the first time Pakistan had lost in Abu Dhabi and the chief destroyer for them was Herath. The Sri Lanka legend became the first left-arm spinner to pick 400 Test wickets and he also became the first spinner to take 100 wickets against Pakistan.
Sri Lanka were bowled out for 138 in the second innings at the stroke of Lunch on day five which left Pakistan with 136 runs to get in the final two sessions of the day on a crumbling pitch in Abu Dhabi. Yasir had claimed six wickets for 69 runs and Pakistan were just 136 runs to win the first Test. After some boring and placid sessions of cricket where no team was looking to secure a win, this Test was all to get for Pakistan.
But pitch sudden became their problem. They needed to get those runs on a pitch that was crumbling once Herath began to bowl, it sang his song. More problems arose for Pakistan when they lost five wickets for just 36 runs before Tea. Herath got things going in the fourth over itself. Sami Aslam played for the spin but Herath had bowled a beautiful delivery which went straight with the line. It got the outside edge of Aslam’s bat and he was caught at the slips.
Suranga Lakmal bowled a perfect delivery to get an outside edge of Azhar Ali’s bat and he was caught at slips. Dilruwan then deceived Shan Masood to drive which he did not ultimately was got a glove on the ball. He was caught at short cover.
Babar Azam tried defending a wide delivery from Dilruwan only to get caught behind. Asad Shafiq got a delivery that good extra bounce and Dimuth Karunaratne held on to a sharp catch at slips. Sarfraz Ahmed and debutant Haris Sohail shared a 42-run stand made sure no wicket was lost till Tea.
But as play resumed, Sarfraz had lapse of concentration and stepped out against Herath. Dickwella fumbled but eventually stumped him. Pakistan needed 58 more runs with four wickets in hand. The impressive Sohail was still at the crease.
20 runs later, he was not. Haris got a straighter one from Dilruwan which hit him on the back leg and in front of the stumps. He was plumb in front as Pakistan crumbled. The last three wickets were just 16 runs away from Sri Lanka.