Sri Lanka spinners fight back; Test tantalisingly poised

Pakistan made a solid start in reply to Sri Lanka's 419

Pakistan made a solid start in reply to Sri Lanka’s 419

"I have no idea".

For Sri Lanka, wicketkeeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella was the leading run scorer, he remained not out on 40, as his side collapsed on 138.

Sri Lanka, who resumed at 69-4, lost their last six wickets for 69 runs but Dickwella still put up a lone fight - hitting four boundaries - and more importantly giving Sri Lanka a target to fight. "I've played almost 20 Tests, maybe that's why", he said.

39 - Rangana Herath's age when he reached 400 wickets, which makes him the oldest to reach the landmark.

Even after taking a 3 runs lead, though it was the smallest lead having been taken Pakistan in Tests while batting second, and bowling Sri Lanka out for 138 runs, Pakistan's batting once again struggled and was all out for 114 runs.

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After Suranga Lakmal dismissed a leaden-footed Azhar Ali and Perera took two wickets himself, Herath produced perhaps the two biggest wickets of the innings. It was also a first defeat for Pakistan at this venue in 10 Tests.

Meanwhile Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath achieved a colossal feat during the game.

Veteran left-arm spinner Herath was the most successful bowler with 2-47.

The 21-run win in the nail-biting contest steered Sri Lanka to lead the two-match series 1-0. He is also the second Sri Lankan bowler to breach the 400-wickets mark. It was, aptly, Herath, who took the winning wicket as he got Abbas plumb in front of wicket to clinch his 400th wicket and a famous win for Sri Lanka. In his first 15 Tests against them, he had 65 wickets at an average of 32.81 and had taken three five-wicket hauls.

Pakistan are 5/4 with Sky Bet for victory, Sri Lanka can be backed at 4/1 and the draw is on offer at 6/5.

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The fact it would be Sri Lanka who would be signing for a win at the end of the day will not have been universally foreseen. Conditions are great for batting so, hopefully, we can build a few big partnerships and look to get a first innings lead.

Herath took 23 wickets against Pakistan in 2014 - a world record in a two-match series - and he said he had no clue why he was continually so successful against the nation. For a period when Sarfraz (Ahmed) and Haris (Sohail) were going on, it was looking good. When you are getting old, it gets increasingly hard, it's a different feeling (on his 400 Test wickets).

Sarfraz: Win and loss - it's always a part of the game, but we should have won this match.

"We knew once we got that much, we have our legend (Herath) here".

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