Sri Lanka’s resounding 246-run victory over Pakistan in the second Test in Galle has seen them break into the top five of the ICC World Test Championship standings.
The two-Test series between the two nations has been an exciting one with both teams taking a match each. Pakistan went 1-0 up in the series with a four-wicket win in the first Test. Chasing 342, the visitors boosted their chances of appearing in next year’s World Test Championship final, going to the third spot in the standings, while Sri Lanka ended up slipping to No.6.
And now the tables have been reversed with Sri Lanka climbing to the third spot with a win percentage of 53.33, while Pakistan have dropped down to No.5 with a win percentage of 51.85.
South Africa continue to rule the table with a PCT of 71.43%, followed by Australia, who are at 70%. South Africa have a good chance of widening the gap when they take on England in a three-match Test series next month.
The architect of Sri Lanka’s 246-run win was left-armer Prabath Jayasuriya, who has been making waves in Test cricket since his debut earlier this month. In just six Test innings, he has accumulated 29 wickets, including four five-wicket hauls and a 10-wicket match-haul.
The wily spinner picked up 3/80 in the first innings, which included the wickets of the dangerous Babar Azam (16) and Agha Salman (62), who top-scored in the first innings. Along with Ramesh Mendis’ five-for, Sri Lanka were able to restrict Pakistan to just 231, securing a 147-run first-innings lead.
The hosts then put up a commanding batting performance led by centurion Dhananjaya de Silva (109) to set Pakistan a daunting target of 508. The visitors had put on a confident 89/1 at the end of day four. Imam-ul-Haq was out early on day five but a terrific partnership of 78 runs between Babar and Mohammad Rizwan helped them see off the first hour of the day with ease.
However, within a space of seven overs, the momentum swung back in the favour of the hosts. It started with Jayasuriya bowling out Rizwan for 37, a horrible mix-up resulted in the run out of Fawad Alam (1) and Jayasuriya struck again three overs later to have Agha Salman (4) caught out at the stroke of lunch.
Things rapidly deteriorated for Pakistan after the break. Their lone fighter, captain Babar Azam became Jayasuriya’s fourth victim, falling for a gritty 81. In the next over, Ramesh Mendis removed Mohammad Nawaz for 12.
Yasir Shah tried to delay the inevitable with a quick-fire knock of 27 but Jayasuriya had other plans. Wickets eighth and ninth fell in the space of three balls. Naseem Shah put up an 18-run stand for the final wicket but it was too little and too late for the visitors as Sri Lanka romped to a 246-run victory.
Prabath Jayasuriya finished with a match haul of 8/197, while Ramesh Mendis registered a match haul of 9/148.
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