Noman Ali takes seven wickets, as Pakistan win Test series against hosts Sri Lanka 2-0

Pakistan extended their lead at the top of the ongoing World Test Championship standings after defeating hosts Sri Lanka in the second Test to win the series 2-0 at the Sinhalese Sports Club.

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Spinner Noman Ali was the standout performer with the ball, as Sri Lanka were dismissed for a mere 188 runs in the second innings. Noman took 7/70 on day four to mould Pakistan’s victory, while opener Abdullah Shafique scored a massive 201-run knock. Shafique was adjudged the player of the match.

The series sweep has improved Pakistan’s position at the top of the WTC25 standings. They have now collected 24 points from their two wins, maintaining a 100% success rate. Meanwhile, India, who are currently second in the list, secured 16 points (66.67%) after winning their series 1-0 against West Indies.

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Pakistan declared at 576/5, with a massive first innings lead of 410, after Sarfaraz Ahmed’s concussion replacement, Mohammad Rizwan, reached his half-century in the second over of the day.

Sri Lanka’s openers were off to a steady start with a 69-run partnership, the highest of their innings. However, Noman Ali struck early for Pakistan, dismissing Nishan Madushka for 33 before lunch, leaving Sri Lanka at 81/1.

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In the afternoon session, Noman got rid of Sri Lankan skipper Dimuth Karunaratne for 41 in his first over. He followed it up with two more wickets in his next two overs, dismissing Kusal Mendis for 14 and Dinesh Chandimal, leaving Sri Lanka in a precarious position.

Noman added three more wickets to his name, although Angelo Mathews fought valiantly for the Lankans. The seasoned veteran scored an unbeaten 63, but his efforts were in vain as his teammates fell one after the other. Young Pakistani pacer Naseem Shah took three wickets, all of them clean bowled dismissals. He finished with impressive match figures of 6/85.

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