Pakistan beat Sri Lanka in first home Test series in a decade

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Web Report

Pakistan on Monday won the two-match Test series 1-0 against Sri Lanka after winning the second Test at Karachi’s National Stadium by 263 runs.

The two-match series, which began with a drawn Test in Rawalpindi, marked Pakistan’s first Test matches on home soil since the 2009 militant attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in Lahore.

Pakistan secured the emotional series win needing only 16 deliveries to claim the last three wickets en route to a victory in the final Test.

Teenager Naseem Shah, who became the youngest pace bowler to take five wickets in an innings of a Test match, claimed two of the last three wickets as Sri Lanka, chasing 476 for victory, folded for 212.

Naseem, who had dismissed Dilruwan Perera with the last delivery on Sunday, struck with the very first ball on the fifth day morning when the 16-year-old sent back Lasith Embuldeniya to be on a hat-trick.

Vishwa Fernando denied him the feat but could not deny Naseem his five-wicket haul and fell in the quick’s next over.

Oshada Fernando, whose maiden Test century was the lone significant resistance in the Sri Lankan innings, fell to Yasir Shah, failing to add to his overnight score of 102.

The last four Sri Lankan wickets fell without adding a single run to the total.

Speaking at the post-match ceremony, skipper Azhar Ali noted Naseem’s balling performance.

Azhar said that his own century was “long due”, adding that he hoped he could continue the performance. On Sunday, the skipper scored 118-runs.

He said that it was advantageous, particularly for batsmen, to play Test series on home grounds. He thanked all security agencies, sponsors, as well as the crowd for the series.

The two-match series against Sri Lanka marks the resumption of Test cricket in the country for the first time in 10 years and nine months. The last time the green shirts won a Test at home was also in Karachi, over 13 years ago, against West Indies, ESPNcricinfo reported.

The first Test played at Pindi Cricket Stadium ended in a draw after being badly affected by the weather. Opener Abid Ali, however, became the first batsman to score hundreds on both Test and One-Day International debuts when he struck a ton during the match.

Abid was awarded both the man of the match and the man of the series.

“All the hard work at [the] domestic level has been rewarded. A home Test series after ten years, could not have been more proud. I keep working hard, keep believing in myself and remaining positive.

“Of course there was pressure but we approached it positively with help from the team management and thanks for the crowd that turned up to support us,” ESPNcricinfo quoted him as saying.

With the win, Pakistan has climbed to number three on the ICC World Test Championship points table, the report added.