Pakistan v Sri Lanka 2017, 2nd Test – 5 Talking Points

Sri Lanka clinch the two match Test series by 2-0.

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka celebrates after winning the Second Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. (Photo Source: Francois Nel/Getty Images)

The first game of the series treated us with a crackerjack of game. It was now the turn for Pakistan to salvage some pride after the defeat in the first Test while eyeing to level the series at home against Sri Lanka. That said, Sri Lanka had a thing or two to prove with the string of recent defeats.

It all ended with Sri Lanka winning the match and clinching the Test series by 2-0. Dimuth Karunaratne was awarded the man of the match as well as the man of the series award for his epic knock of 196 in the Test match following the 93 in the first Test match. Let us look at the five talking points of the second Test match.

1. Dimuth Karunaratne’s 196

Sri Lankan mainstay in batting after the retirement of Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara, Dimuth Karunaratne proved yet again why he is auspicious for the Sri Lankans. Karunaratne forged a marathon knock off 405 balls, setting up a match-winning total in the first innings for the Lankans.

Together with Dickwella (62), Chandimal (52) and Dilruwan Perera (58), Karunaratne stitched some valuable partnership to take the game further away from the Pakistanis. The southpaw was unfortunate to miss out on his maiden double century of his career after missing out on a ton in the first Test (dismissed on 93).

2. Yasir Shah’s 6-wicket haul

Yasir Shah continued his golden run with the ball as he clinched six wickets in the 1st innings to keep a lid on the Sri Lankan batting effort. He came back in the second innings and claimed another couple of wickets to take his tally to 8 wickets in the match.

With this effort, Yasir Shah becomes the first spinner to take a five-wicket haul in five consecutive matches in Test matches. Shah also picked up 8 wickets in the previous match at Dubai. All in all, Shah had a brilliant Test series personally.

3. Sri Lankan Collapse

Pakistan had their backs to the walls after being dismissed for a modest 262 in reply to Sri Lanka’s 482 and conceding a monumental lead of 220 after the 1st innings. It was of utmost importance for Pakistan to dismiss the Tigers as cheaply as possible.

The men in green did exactly the same as they dismissed the Lankans for a modest score of 96, thanks to a Sri Lankan batting collapse which has been frequent in the past 18 months. Only 4 out of the 11 batsmen could manage a score of double figures as the visitors lost wickets in heaps. This meant that the home team had an outside chance of chasing down the total.

4. Wahab Riaz’s Fiercesome Spell

With the injury to Mohammad Amir, the likes of Mohammad Abbas and Wahab Riaz had to shoulder the extra responsibility to help their teams cause. Captain Sarfraz Ahmed gave the full throttle license to Wahab Riaz who picked up 4 wickets in his fiercesome spell to make way for Pakistan’s comeback into the game.

Riaz first picked up the man in form Dimuth Karunaratne and then removed debutant Samarawickrama out of the equation.He came back and picked the wicket of dangerous looking Dickwell and caught Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal plumb in front to end up with figures of 4/41.

5. Asad Shafiq’s fighting innings

Much like the Day Night Test in Australia where Pakistan almost chased down a mammoth target batting fourth, Asad Shafiq featured in yet another heroic effort to give a glimpse of hope for his country to overhaul the total. The hosts were in all sorts of trouble at 52-5 and two new batsmen at the crease.

It would have been all over on the 4th day itself had the captain and Shafiq stitched a vital partnership to save the day through without any further calamity. He brought up his 11th Test Ton today, with help of his 112 off just 176 balls at a strike rate of 63. He scored 10 boundaries in his knock the apply pressure back on the bowlers.

Pakistan would have hoped for a victory till Shafiq was on strike. In the end, it proved a bit too much for the men in green as they lost the match by just 68 runs after giving a tough fight.