Sri Lanka clean sweeps Test series

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NC Sports Desk

DUBAI: Asad Shafiq’s fighting century went in vain as Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 68 runsind day-night Test to sweep the series 2-0 here yesterday at Dubai Cricket Stadium. This was Pakistan’s first Test series loss in the UAE since the team started playing it’s home matches there. The last batsman, Wahab Riaz, was caught out at extra cover on a ball by Herath. Earlier, Asad Shafiq fell after score a 112 as Pakistan staggered trying to save the Test series in the opening session of the final day of Dubai Test yesterday. Shafiq brought up his 100 off 151 balls, as he and skipper Sarfraz Ahmed took Pakistan past 200, chasing a target of 317 in a thrilling final day of the day-night Test. Sarfraz, however, fell to a Perera delivery for 68 off 130. Mohammad Amir was the next to depart, leaving Pakistan at 230-7, and Shafiq survived an lbw scare soon afterwards. Following Amir’s dismissal, Yasir Shah was the next to lose his wicket. On Monday, both Shafiq and Sarfraz hit fighting half-centuries to thwart Sri Lanka and set up an enthralling finish. Shafiq scored an unbeaten 86 while Sarfraz was 57 not out as they lifted Pakistan from a perilous position at 52-5 to 198-5 at close after being set a daunting target of 317. The pair added 146 for the unbroken sixth-wicket stand to leave Pakistan needing another 119 runs with five wickets in hand to level the series. Sri Lanka won a nail-biting first Test in Abu Dhabi by 21 runs. Both Shafiq and Sarfraz batted confidently to raise hopes of Pakistan maintaining their unbeaten record in nine Test series in the United Arab Emirates, their adopted home since 2009. Shafiq brought up his 19th Test fifty with a well-timed cover drive off fast bowler Suranga Lakmal, his first 50-plus score in 12 innings. Sarfraz smashed part-timer Kusal Mendis for his fourth boundary to complete his 14th Test half-century.

Batting disappointed us: Sarfraz Ahmed

DUBAI: Pakistan Test skipper Sarfraz Ahmed said that the team was fully prepared but the batting performance disappointed them. “We have learnt a lot from the test series,” he remarked while speaking to reporters after the match, adding that he hopes to not repeat the mistakes in the future test series. Sri Lanka’s batting and bowling were exceptional, he said. Toss is very important in such conditions, said the captain who lost the toss twice. While praising the performance of middle-order batsman Asad Shafiq, who scored 112 in the second innings of the second match, he remarked that if any player would have performed like this in the first innings of either the first or second test then Pakistan would’ve won for sure.

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