Herath shines as Sri Lanka seal victory in Abu Dhabi Test against Pakistan

 
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Abu Dhabi, Oct. 2 (TNS):  Rangana Herath became the second Sri Lankan to bag 400 wickets as his six-wicket haul steered Sri Lanka to a thrilling 21-run win over Pakistan in the first Test in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

The veteran left-arm spinner took 6-43 – 11-136 in the match – to scupper Pakistan, set a modest 136-run target, for just 114 on a weary fifth day Sheikh Zayed Stadium pitch.

The victory was achieved when Herath trapped last man Mohammad Abbas leg before for nought to give Sri Lanka a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

Herath, a long-time nemesis of Pakistan, also completed 100 wickets in 20 Tests against them, during an innings in which only debutant Haris Sohail fought with some resolve for his 34 runs.

Herath became the 14th most successful bowler in all Test cricket and fifth spinner behind his countryman Muttiah Muralitharan, Australia’s Shane Warne and the Indian duo of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh to reach the 400-wicket milestone.

An unassuming Herath said he didn’t know why he always took wickets against Pakistan.

“I have no idea,” said Herath, who took 22 wickets against Pakistan in 2014 – a world record for a two-match series.

“Maybe I have played more against them, that’s why.

“I am so happy with the remarkable achievement (400 wickets).”Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed called the defeat “disappointing”.

“We should have won this,” said Ahmed, skippering his side for the first time in a Test. “We have a few issues, especially in the fifth day when we come under pressure.”