ABU DHABI: The Pakistani batting line-up crumbled in the face of Sri Lanka bowling, losing the first Test on Monday despite a five-wicket haul by Yasir Shah giving Sarfraz XI an easy 136-run target.
Things did not go Pakistan’s way as a seemingly achievable target soon loomed large, with Sami Aslam (2), Azhar Ali (0), Shan Masood (7), Babar Azam (3) and Asad Shafiq (20) being quickly sent back to the pavilion early in the innings.
Even skipper Sarfraz Ahmed could manage only 19 runs with the bat.
The real blow came when Haris Sohail was dismissed for 34 in the 38th over, caught LBW by Perera.
Sohail had provided a much-needed anchor, taking Pakistan to 98, but wickets fell in quick succession after that.
The entire team was dismissed before the Sri Lanka bowlers could begin the 48th over.
This is the first time in 20 years that Pakistan has been unable to chase a score under 150 runs. In October 1997, Pakistan were bowled out for 92, chasing a target of 146 against South Africa at Faisalabad.
HMRKB Herath picked up a match-winning 6 wickets haul for 43 runs, while Perera picked up 3 for 46.
In the first innings, Herath got winning figures of 5-93 in 40 overs, taking him to an overall 11-wicket haul in the match.
Earlier in the opening session today, pacer Mohammad Abbas bagged two wickets to take Pakistan close to a comfortable target. Abbas dismissed Mendis and Lakmal within the opening hour of the morning session, getting the former trapped LBW for 18 and the latter caught in the deep for 13.
Shah starred with figures of 51-5. On Sunday, he grabbed the key wicket of Dinesh Chandimal.
It was tough to negotiate spin on a fourth-day Sheikh Zayed Stadium pitch, but despite a 32nd Test five-wicket haul for veteran Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath, Pakistan posted 422 to take a slender three-run lead.
Sri Lanka had made 419 in their first innings.
Herath’s 5-93 in 40 overs were well foiled by a brilliant 76 by Test debutant Haris Sohail, as initially, it looked as though Sri Lanka would take a first-innings lead.
Pakistan then hit back in the second innings through Shah, who first had opener Dimuth Karunaratne caught for 10 and then dismissed first-innings centurion Chandimal, caught at slip, for seven.
Sohail followed his responsible knock by claiming Kaushal Silva’s wicket, whom he trapped leg before for 25, while part-timer Asad Shafiq had Lahiru Thirimanne for seven.