Pakistan secured a comprehensive four-wicket win over hosts Sri Lanka in the first Test in Galle, as they join India at the top of the ICC World Test Championship standings. Chasing 131 runs to win, Pakistan comfortably knocked off the required runs before lunch. Opener Imam-ul-Haq (50) and Agha Salman (6) remained unbeaten during their run chase.
The result marks a perfect start to Pakistan’s new World Test Championship campaign, and they now share the top position with India. Both teams boast a 100 per cent win record after one match each in the current cycle. Pakistan will look to maintain their unbeaten record as they prepare for the second Test against Sri Lanka, scheduled to begin in Colombo on Monday. Babar Azam’s side failed to qualify for the recent World Test Championship Final, where Australia defeated India at The Oval.
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In the first innings, Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat, scoring 312 runs. Dhananjaya de Silva scored an impressive 122 runs off 214 balls, while Angelo Mathews contributed 64 runs off 109 balls, as Sri Lanka crossed the 300-run mark. Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi and Abrar Ahmed took three wickets each, giving away 86 runs and 136 runs, respectively.
In reply, Pakistan posted 461 runs in their first innings. Saud Shakeel smashed a scintillating double century, scoring 208 runs off 361 balls. Meanwhile, Salman Ali Agha made 83 valuable runs off 113 balls, allowing Pakistan to establish a significant lead.
Sri Lanka scored 279 runs in their second innings, with Dhananjaya de Silva leading the charge with 82 runs off 118 balls. Nishan Madhushka played a patient 52 runs off 115 balls. In the session, Pakistan’s Abrar Ahmed claimed 3/68, while Norman Ali took 3/75.
Needing 131 in the second innings for a victory, Pakistan confidently chased down the total. They scopred 133/6. Imam-ul-Haq’s gritty knock of 50 runs off 84 balls and Saud Shakeel’s contribution of 30 runs off 38 balls sealed the win for the visitors. Prabath Jayasuriya took 4/56, while Ramesh Mendis took 1/62. With this win, Pakistan have set the stage for an exciting battle in the ongoing World Test Championship.