Babar Azam and Asad Shafique who both hit centuries, helped tourists Pakistan to an impressive four-wicket win against Sri Lanka, which was the second highest successful run chase in test history. Hosts Sri Lanka, who impressively drew their last series with Australia, were only able to must a score of 222 all out.
In reply, Babar’s men fared worse and would concede a four run deficit as they finished on 218 all out. It would have been worse for Pakistan if Babar Azam (119) hadn’t dug in. Credit does also deserve to go to the tail of the tourists as Hassan Ali (17),Yasir Shah (18) and a 46-ball five scored by number 11 Naseem Shah.
With just a deficit of four, Pakistan were firmly in the game, but Oshanda Fernado (64), Kusal Mendis (76) and Dinesh Chandimal (94 not out) helped Sri Lanka to a daunting 337 all out.
So Pakistan needed 342 to win, and they had over a day to do it. The total seemed daunting and with new boy Agha Salman in the middle-order, much would be expected of Azhar Ali, Babar Azham and Mohammed Rizwan to compliment the openers.
To their credit the tourists went about their work in solid fashion as Imam Ul-Haq (35) stumped in controversial fashion, and Mohammed Rizwan (40) doing their bit to support captain Babar Azam (55), who wasn’t able to follow up his first innings ton with another one in the second innings.
The Pakistan captain needed not to worry as Abdullah Shafique who has come in to the side since Abid Ali, cruelly fell ill, produced another sparkling century. Shafique the 22-year old Sialkot native, scored a quite remarkable 160 not out, carrying his bat through the innings.
For what was a tricky target, was in the end comfortably chased down. The second test between the two sides starts on Sunday 24th July also at the Galle International Stadium.
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