Galle: Babar Azam-led Pakistan team got off to a winning start in the new cycle of the ICC World Test Championship after beating Sri Lanka by four wickets on day five of the first Test match at the Galle International Stadium in Galle.
The win means Pakistan go one-up in the two-Test series against the hosts. The second and final Test will be played at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo from 24 July.
Resuming their second innings at the overnight score of 48 for three with 83 runs to win, Babar struck two boundaries in the first over of the morning to make his intentions clear. He went on to score two more boundaries before getting adjudged leg-before wicket to Prabath Jayasuriya for 24 off 28 balls, hitting five fours.
At 79 for four, opening batter Imam-ul-Haq was joined by Saud Shakeel, the double centurion from the first innings, and the pair knitted a 43-run partnership for the fifth wicket before Saud (30, 38b, 6x4s) fell to Ramesh Mendis in the 30th over of the innings.
With five runs to win, Pakistan lost Sarfaraz Ahmed (1, 10b). Salman Ali Agha then came to the crease and finished the match in style by hitting a huge six off the first ball he faced, helping the team win by four wickets.
Imam returned unbeaten on 50 off 84 balls, smashing four fours and one six.
For Sri Lanka, Jayasuriya bagged four wickets in the second innings and ended up taking seven wickets in the match.
Scores in brief (day 5 of 5)
Sri Lanka 312 all out, 95.2 overs (Dhananjaya de Silva 122, Angelo Mathews 64, Sadeera Samarawickrama 36, Dimuth Karunaratne 29; Abrar Ahmed 3-68, Shaheen Shah Afridi 3-86, Naseem Shah 3-90, Salman Ali Agha 1-18) and 279 all out, 83.1 overs (Dhananjaya de Silva 82, Nishan Madushka 52, Ramesh Mendis 42, Dinesh Chandimal 28; Noman Ali 3-75, Abrar Ahmed 3-68, Salman Ali Agha 2-39, Shaheen Shah Afridi 2-64)
Pakistan 461 all out, 121.2 overs (Saud Shakeel 208 not out, Salman Ali Agha 83, Shan Masood 39, Noman Ali 25; Ramesh Mendis 5-136, Prabath Jayasuriya 3-145) and 133-6, 32.5 overs (Imam-ul-Haq 50 not out, Saud Shakeel 30, Babar Azam 24; Prabath Jayasuriya 4-56)
Player of the match – Saud Shakeel (Pakistan)
Courtesy : PCB