Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 21 runs in the 1st test match. The 39-year-old Rangana Herath finished with 6-43 in the 2nd inning to help Sri Lanka dismiss Pakistan for 114 while defending just 136 runs on the final day of the Test of the two-match series, at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Herath’s dismissal of the last batsman Mohammad Abbas gave him his 400th wicket of his career in his 84th Test. He became the 14th most successful bowler and the fifth spinner in the five-day format to reach the milestone.
Here are some of the positive and negative aspects for Pakistan from the first Test.
Wrong team selection: Pakistan should have gone with two spinners with either Mohammad Asghar or Bilal Asif in the team. Bilal Asif’s career got off to a dream start when he produced a match-winning performance, against Zimbabwe, in only his second international game. He could have replaced a fast bowler seeing the spin-friendly playing conditions. Asghar on the other hand, is one of the brightest talents in Pakistan right now. His selection could have made a difference for Pakistan in the 1st test match.
Too much defensive: Chasing 136 was not a hard nut to crack, but Pakistan have always been totally unpredictable when it comes to chasing. Pakistan’s scoring rate was around 2.5 and 2.4 runs in the first and second inning respectively.
Vulnerable under pressure: Pakistan’s batsmen were under immense pressure while chasing, although it was a very low score. It has always been a tradition for Pakistan batsmen that they start losing control on their confidence if they lose back to back wickets.
Yasir Shah’s Brilliance: The leggie has still got the magic. The 31-years old spin wizard becomes the fastest spinner to reach 150 test wickets. He is also the joint second fastest bowler to reach 150 wickets with Waqar Younis. He took eight wickets in the match, with his 12th five-wicket haul in the second inning.
Reliable Haris: Haris Sohail thrilled with a good show on test debut and justified his selection in the team. The wily left-handed gave Pakistan lead in the first inning his with maiden test fifty. He fought through his 76-run knock to take Pakistan to 422 all out. Sohail hit seven fours and two sixes before holing out to paceman Nuwan Pradeep. The 28-years old batsman proved that he can be handy in Tests too.
Pakistan Openers: In the first inning, Shan Masood and Sami Aslam exhibited potential of being good openers for Pakistan. They replied to Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 419, they put together 114 runs. Shan made 59 while Sami Aslam got out after scoring 51 runs.
Pakistan need to rectify their mistakes in the second and the last Test of the series to maintain their dominance in the UAE. The Men in Green have to choose their playing XI wisely and according to the playing conditions, rather than the same old formula.
The second Test of the series will kick off on October 6 at Dubai.