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Yasir's five-for restricts Sri Lanka to 138

03 October 2017

Nuwan Pradeep (0) was the final batsmen to be dismissed when Hasan Ali (1-21) castled him with only Niroshan Dickwella (40 not out) showing some fight in helping Sri Lanka post 138 and set a target of 136 runs for Pakistan in the final innings. Before we came here, they talked to me, and the team, and gave really good confidence.

Niroshan Dickwella remained defiant, however, and when Pakistan's batsmen then hit nearly immediate trouble it became clear the Sri Lanka wicketkeeper's unbeaten 40 could well be significant.

Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 21 runs in the first Test of the 2-Test series as Pakistan failed to chase down a meagre 136-run target and were all out for 114.

For the home side to clinch the Test, they perhaps need Sarfraz to play a substantial knock.

Herath picked up with 11 wickets in the match.

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Pakistan batsman Haris Sohail marked his maiden Test with an important half-century before Sri Lanka's top order succumbed to spin in Abu Dhabi. This was thanks to Rangana Herath's 6 for 43, during the course of which he became the first left-arm spinner to take 400 Test wickets.

Suranga Lakmal and Rangana Herath took 2 and 5 wickets respectively to dismiss the Pakistani side.

Herath and Yasir Shah are two of the finest spinners of the modern game. Bringing it up in mere 84 innings, Herath stands third on the list of 'Fewest Tests to 400 wickets behind Muralitharan (79) and Richard Hadlee and Dale Steyn (80).

Herath has been a scourge for Pakistan in the recent past (100 wickets against Pakistan so far) and hence it was not surprising when he was man responsible for ending Pakistan's unbeaten run in Abu Dhabi.

Rangana Herath claimed his 32nd five-wicket haul to ensure Pakistan's advantage was minimal but the tourists limped to 69 for four at the close, with all four wickets going to the slow bowlers.

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As interesting as it may sound, Herath is the very same bowler who had scalped 22 wickets against this same team, back in 2014, which now stands as a world record for most wickets in a two-match Test series. If a result appeared out of the question at that point, it appeared all but certain once the Sri Lankans had crumbled to 138 all out in their second innings.

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

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.

"[Niroshan] Dickwella was outstanding in the second innings to get us to the 140 mark". He has taken 95 wickets against them and needs five more to go past Kapil Dev to become the highest wicket-taker against Pakistan in Tests.

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Yasir's five-for restricts Sri Lanka to 138