Sri Lanka thwarts rain to beat Pakistan
GALLE, Sri Lanka (AP):
Rangana Herath grabbed 6-48 as Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by seven wickets on a remarkable last day of the first Test yesterday.
The left-arm spinner turned the game on its head when Pakistan, who trailed by 82 after the first innings, were bowled out for 180. Sri Lanka then needed 99 runs in a minimum 21 overs with dark clouds hovering over Galle International Stadium. Captain Angelo Mathews (25 not out) showed urgency by hitting two sixes and two fours as Sri Lanka reached 99-3 in 16.2 overs - just in time before the rain arrived. Mahela Jayawardene, playing in his penultimate Test, set the tempo with a quick 26 as an opener before Mathews took charge under bad light.
"It was one of the best games I have played and Herath was unbelievable," Mathews said. "What an unbelievable player Mahela is. Hopefully, we can win the next game as well."
It was Pakistan's fourth loss in a Test match after scoring more than 450 runs in the first innings. The visitors will look to spoil Jayawardene's farewell Test in his hometown, Colombo, when the second Test begins on Thursday.
Kumar Sangakkara's 10th double-century (221) helped Sri Lanka respond solidly by declaring at 533-9 after Younis Khan hit a brilliant 177 in Pakistan's first-innings total of 451. But Pakistan's batsmen paid a heavy price of protecting their wickets instead of scoring runs after resuming the day at 4-1 as Herath got rid of the top order before mopping up the tail just after tea. Wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed top-scored with an unbeaten 52 before he ran out of partners.
"Credit should be given to Herath. He knew these conditions very well, especially in Galle, where he has been so successful," Pakistan captain Misbah said.