Photo: PCB

Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by 246 runs to win the second test at Galle and level the series 1-1. Sri Lankan spinners Jayasuriya and Mendis, made Pakistani batters dance to their tunes, and sent them packing for 261 runs. Parabath Jayasuriya ran through Pakistan’s top order and picked up 5 wickets, including the all-important wicket of Pakistani captain Babar Azam. Babar looked uncomfortable throughout the series, falling 3 times to Jayasuriya in 4 innings. Ramesh Mendis didn’t hold back either, as he picked up 4 wickets in this innings followed by his 5-wicket haul in the first innings.

Sri Lanka gave Pakistan an impossible feat to achieve; a target of 508 runs. Though Pakistan started confidently the target was not easy to achieve. Pakistan had a better chance of drawing the game, than going for the chase, however, they chose the latter considering their recent good record in fourth innings.

Pakistan’s batting coach Mohammad Yousuf, also backed his boys to chase this mammoth total at the end of Day 4. “The way Babar and Imam-ul-Haq are playing, it will be an interesting day tomorrow. We will see in the first session how we go, and if we do well, we will try to chase the total. Imam and Babar have played very good cricket in the last session, and I hope that they would bat the whole day tomorrow as well,” he said.

Pakistan’s first wicket fell at 47, but Babar and Imam managed to hold their ground until the end of the fourth day’s play. However, Imam perished right at the start of fifth day, which brought Rizwan to the middle. Babar and Rizwan had a partnership of 79 runs before Rizwan fall prey to Jayasuriya. Babar fought the lone battle after that, as he put a valiant effort to survive the final day. But a solid partnership was required to save the day. After Rizwan, no batter could manage to play 30 balls for survival on a tricky day 5 pitch. Babar Azam top scored with 81 runs.

Sri Lanka’s Dhananjaya de Silva was awarded man of the match for his gritty knock of 109 in second innings, while Parabath Jayasuriya grabbed the ‘player of the series’ award for his 17 wickets in the series. Jayasuriya has 29 wickets from 3 test matches he has played so far.

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