Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath took four wickets to spark a Pakistan batting collapse as Sri Lanka scrambled for an unlikely 50-run win on Tuesday in the first Test. Chasing only 167 to win, Pakistan resumed the fourth day in a seemingly comfortable position needing another 97 runs with eight wickets in hand and two days remaining.
But Herath (4-15) and seamer Thilan Thushara (2-21) upended the Pakistan innings, striking at regular intervals to hasten a batting collapse as the visitors were bundled out for 117. Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara said despite being behind Pakistan for the entire match his lineup had started the day confident of a result, provided it took two wickets in the first five overs.
“We never expected it to happen so quickly,” Sangakkara said. “I think the way Rangana and Thilan bowled was just spot-on.”
Herath, a late replacement for Muttiah Muralitharan — the all-time leading bowler in test cricket — struck in the second over, trapping first innings centurymaker Mohammad Yousuf (12) lbw for his overnight score. He soon dismissed Sulman Butt (28) caught by Tharanga Paranavitana.
Thushara then had Shoaib Malik (0) caught behind by Tillakaratne Dilshan and trapped Kamran Akmal (6) lbw. Misbah-ul-Haq’s run out for seven left Pakistan reeling at 85-7. Herath wrapped up the innings when he had Abdur Rauf caught by Mahela Jayawardene at slip to hand his side a famous win to kick start the three-match series, the first between the two countries since the Lanka’s convoy was attacked by terrorists en route to a match at Lahore, Pakistan in March.
Herath was voted player of the match for his career-best bowling.