Pakistan bag victory against Sri Lanka in first home Test series in a decade


KARACHI, DEC 23 – Pakistan on Monday won the two-match Test series 1-0 against Sri Lanka after winning the second Test at Karachi’s National Stadium by 263 runs.

Chasing 476 for victory, Sri Lanka were all out for 212 with Oshada Fernando top-scoring for them with a gutsy 102, while Naseem Shah claimed 5-31 for the hosts. Speaking at the post-match ceremony, skipper Azhar Ali noted Shah’s balling performance.

Ali said that his own century was “long due”, adding that he hoped he could continue the performance. He said that it was advantageous particularly for batsmen to play Test series on home grounds.

He thanked all security agencies, sponsors, as well as the crowd for the series.

The two-match series against Sri Lanka marks the resumption of Test cricket in the country for the first time in 10 years and nine months. The last time the green shirts won a Test at home was also in Karachi, over 13 years ago, against West Indies, ESPNcricinfo reported.

The first Test played at Pindi Cricket Stadium ended in a draw after being badly affected by the weather. Opener Abid Ali, however, became the first batsman to score hundreds on both Test and One-Day International debuts when he struck a ton during the match.

Abid Ali was awarded both the man of the match and the man of the series.

“All the hard work at [the] domestic level has been rewarded. A home Test series after ten years, could not have been more proud. I keep working hard, keep believing in myself and remaining positive.

“Of course there was pressure but we approached it positively with help from the team management and thanks for the crowd that turned up to support us,” ESPNcricinfo quoted him as saying.

With the win, Pakistan has climbed to number three on the ICC World Test Championship points table, the report added.