A disappointing end

July 31, 2022

Pakistan lost the plot in the second Test against Sri Lanka in Galle

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Pakistan and Sri Lanka shared the trophy of the two-match series as Sri Lanka beat Pakistan in the second Test by 246 runs at Galle. Pakistan had won the first Test, at the same venue.

Pakistani fans expected fighting innings from the batters on the last day as they did in the first Test and a respectable draw was also on the cards, but Sri Lanka spinners Prabath Jayasuriya and Ramesh Mendis shattered the dreams.

Jayasuriya and Mendis shared nine wickets in the second innings to help the hosts record a 246-run victory.

In the first Test, the Greenshirts successfully chased down the massive target of 342. It was green shirts' second-highest successful chase in Test cricket. It was one of their best ever wins in Test cricket after being 85-7 in their first innings.

Overall, it was bowling that let down team Pakistan in the series. Pakistan bowling was not effective. Veteran spinner Yasir Shah's performance was nothing like in the last tour of Sri Lanka. In the two Tests he claimed nine wickets but with a high average of 39.

All-rounder Agha Salman was included in the squad to strengthen the bowling department, but he failed to justify his selection. In the series he scored 83 runs, averaging 20.75 with one fifty. And he took only one wicket, conceding 119 runs in 34 overs.

Young fast bowler Naseem Shah was impressive in the series with seven wickets, averaging 25.57. Hassan Ali remained in search of his form as he conceded 145 runs for three wickets.

As expected Shaheen Shah Afridi proved his skills by taking 4 wickets, averaging 19.75, but unfortunately he missed the second Test due to injury due to which Sri Lankan batsmen scored over 350 runs in both innings of the second Test.

Sri Lankan Spinner Prabath Jayasuriya was the chief destroyer. He bagged 17 wickets in the series. He has taken four five-wicket hauls in the three Tests he played so far.

He picked up 12 wickets against Australia on his debut last month to lead Sri Lanka to another series-levelling win at the same venue.

The 30-year-old Prabath Jayasuriya in his first six innings has taken 29 wickets, averaging 20.37, including four five-wicket and a 10-wicket match haul.

The Pakistani skipper Babar Azam has secured the third spot in the ICC's ranking for top batsman in every format.

He became the only batsman in the top three of the ICC rankings in every format of international cricket. He moved to No. 3 in Tests for the first time in his 41-match career. Babar is the number one batsman in the ICC ODI and T20 rankings.

Babar surpassed Steven Smith after posting scores of 119 and 55 in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.

Opener Abdullah Shafique was the star of the first Test win. He remained unbeaten from the start till the end to make his career-best 160 runs from 408 balls and took his side past the finish line.

The 22-year-old right-handed batsman stood firm at one end and helped Pakistan chase down the second highest total in their Test cricket history.

Abdullah Shafique during his marathon innings in the first Test went past Javed Miandad -- in his first 6 Test matches, he has scored 654 runs; Miandad had scored 652 runs in his first 6 matches.

Despite failure in the second Test, Abdullah Shafique moved to No. 16 in the ICC Test batsmen ranking. He has now amassed 720 runs in his first six Tests and is currently on 671 rating points that is the third best after former Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar (692) and Australian great Don Bradman (687) after their first six Tests.

After winning the second Test, Pakistan slipped to fifth spot in the latest ICC World Test Championship (WTC) standing. Sri Lanka moved up to the third spot. South Africa are at the top of the table followed by Australia sitting in the second spot while India maintained their fourth position.

Pakistan have five more Tests to improve their ranking in the current WTC cycle: three against England and two versus New Zealand. All the matches will be played in Pakistan.

Sri Lanka's Dinesh Chandimal and Pakistan skipper Babar Azam scored 271 runs each with the average of 90.33 and 77.75. Babar scored one hundred and two fifties while Chandimal hit three fifties. Opener Abdullah Shafiq was behind them with 189 runs, averaging 63.

Prabath Jayasuriya claimed most 17 wickets in the series with an average of 24.35. Second Test hero Ramesh Tarinda Mendis was behind him with 12 wickets, averaging 24.35. For Pakistan, all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz took 10 wickets with the average of 26.10.


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