It took just 16 balls for Pakistan to wrap up the proceedings on Day 5, as they clinched the second Test and also sealed the series versus Sri Lanka 1-0. Naseem Shah, the tearaway quick, ripped through the lower order to bag his maiden five-for in Tests, with the tourists slipping to a 263-run loss.
Sri Lanka began the day at 212/7, with Oshada Fernando holding the fort. However, the very first ball of the day’s play, Naseem dismissed Lasith Embuldeniya with a brute of a bumper. The lower-order batsman could only glove it to the ‘keeper. The on-field decision was not out but reversed by Pakistan via the review system. Yasir Shah, the veteran spinner, then dislodged the centurion Oshada, with the opener guiding one to slip.
In the very next over, Naseem aptly provided the finishing touches by dislodging Vishwa Fernando LBW. The tailender took the review but to no avail. Naseem became the youngest cricketer to bag a five-for in Tests. The pacer was unlucky not to have picked up wickets in the first innings, but his efforts were rewarded in the second. On the other hand, Sri Lanka lost their last four wickets without adding a single run.
The foundation for Pakistan’s victory was laid by Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Babar Azam, and Azhar Ali – who all notched up tons in the second innings to turn the match around. The hosts had found themselves in a bit of trouble after Sri Lanka took a first-innings lead of 80. However, Pakistan’s mainstays in the batting order crunched hundreds in the second innings to pilot the side to 555 for 3 declared.
Brief scores: Pakistan 191 (A Shafiq 63; L Kumara 4-49) and 555/3 declared. (A Ali 174, S Masood 135, A Ali 118, B Azam 100*; L Kumara 2-139) lead Sri Lanka 271 (D Chandimal 74; S Afridi 5-77) and 212 (O Fernando 102; N Shah 5-31) by 263 runs.