Rangana Herath unfailingly delivered the goods on the final day yet again, becoming the first left-arm spinner to bring up 400 Test wickets in history. However, with Sri Lanka set to notch up a total over 500, there will be plenty of time for Amir to sit on his heels and heal - that is if Pakistan can bat long enough. They have stonewalled, barricaded, intimidated, junkyard dog-ed, dust bowl-ed, and have done whatever necessary to maintain their stranglehold. While envelopes of empty blue and white chairs were bearing witness, Pakistan is now on the path to have progress. They were moving slowly, sometimes painfully slowly, but they were moving.
The match Pakistan vs Sri Lanka is now at the top of the Test rankings, although briefly. Now, with two of their most trusted battle commanders gone, an innocuous and familiar enemy has suddenly become overwhelming. This abject performance followed a woeful one in the first Test where he bowled 39 overs without scalping a wicket.
Abbas then had Suranga Lakmal for eight to finish with 2-100 while Shah ended the innings by dismissing Nuwan Pradeep for nought. Six teams have tried beforehand, and six teams have failed, Sri Lanka also failed to perform. Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, and Azhar Ali need to step up if Pakistan has to win the match.
Yasir was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Amir chipped in with one. Whichever team fares well in the first innings will hold the advantage.
Masood had a stroke of luck when he was given not out and Chandimal chose not to review after Dilruwan struck the opener in front, replays showing he should have been given, and Aslam ought to have been run out following a mix-up but Pakistan got through to stumps without losing a wicket.
Quoting Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal, a communique issued on the official website of the ICC states that Lahiru Thirimanne may not play in the second test owing to an injury.