Nine years in waiting: Pakistan bag historic series win in the Island

By AFP
Published: July 7, 2015
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Pakistan cricketers pose after their team's series victory following the third and final Test cricket match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at The Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele on July 7, 2015. PHOTO:AFP

Pakistan cricketers pose after their team's series victory following the third and final Test cricket match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at The Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele on July 7, 2015. PHOTO:AFP

Pakistan cricketers pose after their team's series victory following the third and final Test cricket match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at The Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele on July 7, 2015. PHOTO:AFP Pakistan cricketer Younus Khan plays a shot during the fourth day of the third and final Test cricket match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele on July 6, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

PALLEKELE: Pakistan veteran Younus Khan scored an unbeaten 171 to lead the team to its highest-ever run chase in Pallekele as they beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the decider to grab the three-match series 2-1 .

Pakistan, who won a series after nine years in the Island, shattered many records on their way to this victory as they chased the second highest total in the sub-continent and the highest in Sri Lanka.

With the win, Pakistan improved their Test ranking and jumped up to the third place.

Meanwhile, Younus posted his 30th Test century, becoming the first batsman in Test history to notch five centuries in the fourth innings of a Test. Younus playing his 101st Test reached the century landmark shortly before close of the fourth day’s play.

Masood is the sixth Pakistan opener to score a century in the fourth innings of a Test — considered by cricketing pundits as the toughest innings of a Test.

Earlier, Dimuth Karunaratne led Sri Lanka in the first innings to a total of 278 courtesy his 130-run knock.

Pakistan were not able to reply efficiently and were all out for 215 courtesy Sarfraz Ahmed’s fighting 78 down the order.

Sri Lanka were bolstered by captain Angelo Mathews’ 122 in their second innings and set 377-run target for the visitors.

After losing two quick wickets, Pakistan looked down and out but they were held firmly by Younus and Masood on day four and Misbah was there by the veteran’s side to win the game.

Misbahul Haq, Pakistan captain: It is such a big victory. Younis said that the pitch was not doing much for the bowlers. Shan Masood, the way he played, took the game away from Sri Lanka. After the Younis-Masood partnership, it was easy for us. The youngsters are doing well for the team. When seamers did not get wickets in the first innings, Yasir bowled tight lines and showed his variations. Then Imran came in on the fourth day and took five wickets. The key factor in the game was to keep calm. We have lost a couple of Tests in Sri Lanka last time when he panicked. We just wanted to bat calmly this time. This series means a lot to me after losing two or three series’ in Sri Lanka. Sarfraz in the first innings is the main architect of this win. Asad Shafiq was brilliant in the first Test. After playing so well against Zimbabwe at home, we have a lot of confidence in the ODIs. Sri Lanka are tough competitors at home but we can win the ODIs.

Yasir Shah, Man of the Series: I am playing my 10th game, I do not feel much pressure. People say I smile a lot, that is my natural way. I have worked a lot on my action with Mushy bhai, worked on my googly and made my action repeatable. My target was to take 20 wickets. I bowl according to the wicket. In the second innings, I went around the wicket to make full use of the track.

Younis Khan, Man of the Match: It is not that I train much, but I am involved in everything. I always want to stand up for the team. I play according to the situation. Yesterday when we were fielding, we knew we could chase 400. Credit to Shan Masood, he was amazing. This is a very good bunch of players. Misbah and I keep them calm, they play well under pressure. Yasir Shah has been impressive throughout the series. Imran bowled really well.

Angelo Mathews, Sri Lanka captain: It was disappointing. I though we were sitting pretty when he had 377. This was a really good game after both sides were even. The Pakistan bowlers were brilliant in the second innings. Pakistan deserved to win and they played better cricket than us. It turned a little bit but the seamers did not have anything in the last couple of days. We don’t have Mahela and Sanga, we will have to take on the challenge and move on. I am trying to contribute both with the bat and ball. The one-day team will be a fresh team. It has been a great Test series for both teams.

Brief scores

Sri Lanka 278, 313

Pakistan 215, 382-3

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Reader Comments (19)

  • SEAsian
    Jul 7, 2015 - 1:02PM

    Brilliant run chase. Younis Khan will go down as the greatest batsman Pakistan has produced.Recommend

  • nadeem
    Jul 7, 2015 - 1:04PM

    Younis Khan, all is forgiven from your World Cup performance. Good job.Recommend

  • Zafar
    Jul 7, 2015 - 1:22PM

    Great cracker of a match. Never expected Pakistan to win. Shaan and Younus did great.

    1000 Congratulations
    Sri Lanka vs Pakistan, 3rd Test
    Pakistan win by 7 wickets and create history in the process
    Well Done Shan Masood and Younus KhanRecommend

  • pakistani
    Jul 7, 2015 - 1:46PM

    and they ‘critics’ said Younis should retire. Actually people like Shoiab Akthar should retire from commenting on cricket.Recommend

  • Pravin
    Jul 7, 2015 - 2:09PM

    Congratulations! Well fought victory!!Recommend

  • Hasnain Abbas
    Jul 7, 2015 - 2:19PM

    The man of a class like Younis Khan only could do this.
    Magnificient victory by Pak team.

    Tell me who is the other great Batsman like Younis Khan who bats and fields for long hours during 5 days of a Test Match keeping FAST (Rooza)

    Truly Amazing !!

    SUBHANALLAH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • Jamil
    Jul 7, 2015 - 3:27PM

    It was Shan who made the old nuts to feel ashamed and perform. Karachite boy Shan, who belongs to a very decent family and is well educated should get a chance to play ODIs. He has worked very hard and technically one of the best young crickerters Pakistan has produced recently. Thank you Shan for lifting Pakistan’s oldies out of slumber otherwise their tour to SL would had ended as a famaily vacation. Recommend

  • Shery
    Jul 7, 2015 - 3:48PM

    All mouths must be shut about younis khan. Great player in history of pakistanRecommend

  • Subhodeep
    Jul 7, 2015 - 4:00PM

    Younis Khan in his quiet underrated way has time and again proved why he is the best test batsman Pakistan has ever produced. He in a way is much like Dravid, who gets the job done in his quiet way without any fuss. Pity no one talks about Younis Khan in the same breath as Sachin or Ponting or Kallis, though he is in the same class as the above mentioned great players. Well played Pakistan, u deserve the series victory. Also Yasir Shah looks like a bright prospect for Pakistan.Recommend

  • imran
    Jul 7, 2015 - 4:29PM

    Time for Hafeez to say by by. Recommend

  • US CENTCOM
    Jul 7, 2015 - 4:33PM

    Congratulations to team Pakistan on a great win.

    Ali Khan
    Digital Engagement TeamRecommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jul 7, 2015 - 5:09PM

    Congratulations to our cricket team and whole nation. I think after this great victory, both Younus and Misbah should call it a day. There is no better time for both of them than its now. Leave as winners. Few great players get such send off.Recommend

  • a r modak
    Jul 7, 2015 - 6:35PM

    assalamu alaikum
    congratulations to Pakistan
    it’s exhilarating cricket like this that has kept test cricket alive
    when the team lost two quick wickets, all thought that the usual procession of batsmen to the hut would follow
    but Kuwait-born Shan Masood-with a maiden ton, and master craftsmen Younis Khan
    saw to it that the test went their way

    excellent stuff all the way Recommend

  • Sam
    Jul 7, 2015 - 10:12PM

    Very happy to see Pak doing well great work!! SriLanka did well to challenge Pak without their stars, however we will take this series win :) Let’s build on this success and continuw to momentum. Hopefully youngsters will continue to shine and take the reigns of future cricket for Pak :)Recommend

  • Sam
    Jul 7, 2015 - 10:13PM

    AS for Shan Masood, it will be great to have him and other lefty Harris Sohail in playing 11. They will unsettle the bowlers and will help bring the right balance to the team. Recommend

  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Jul 7, 2015 - 10:35PM

    Mishbah now stands as the greatest captain to have led Pakistan and is a true leader of men since Mushtaq Mohammad. Trust that he would call it a day soon and forever remain a legend in Pakistan’s cricket fraternity and eschew any desire to see himself wearing a sherwani, parking a container at D-Chowk 20 years from now and dance on top of it for 126 days – unlike a certain ex-cricketer from Misbah’s hometown of Mianwali.Recommend

  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Jul 7, 2015 - 10:39PM

    @Subhodeep:

    Younus is good batsman, rather the one of the finest Pakistan has produced. However, the reason his name is not mentioned in the same breath as Tendulkar, Lara, Ponting and Kallis is due to the fact that his batting average is not that impressive on pitches found in South Africa, Australia and England.Recommend

  • mazhar
    Jul 8, 2015 - 12:06AM

    congratulations Pakistan teamRecommend

  • mansoor
    Jul 8, 2015 - 8:31AM

    @Subhodeep:
    Yes Subhodeep, this has, by far, been Pakistan’s most methodical/clinical wins for a test match or a series. This should allow them to, now, be noticed and an Indo-Pak series should be on cards, very soon !Recommend

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