Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2015
Wisden's review of the second Test, Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2015
At Colombo (PSO), June 25-29, 2015. Sri Lanka won by seven wickets. Toss: Pakistan. Test debut: P. V. D. Chameera.
Sri Lanka shook up their side after the setback at Galle, and two vibrant young bowlers set them on course for a series-squaring win. In the first innings, 22-year-old off-spinner Tharindu Kaushal gutted the lower order, claiming a maiden five-for. In the second, 23-year-old debutant Dushmantha Chameera rattled the Pakistanis with his pace.
In only his second Test, Kaushal gleaned considerable turn from the first-day pitch, and Pakistan's batsmen struggled to counter him. Mohammad Hafeez was Exhibit A: he prodded at Kaushal, offering a genial handshake, but the ball was leaning in for the kiss on both cheeks. It turned far more than he expected, and clipped the inner half of the bat before wriggling on to leg stump. Asad Shafiq had his inside edge beaten completely and was out leg-before. Sarfraz Ahmed did manage to get bat on the ball that dismissed him, only for the deflection to fly off his pads to first slip. Kaushal finished with five for 42 and, with Prasad having claimed three top-order wickets, Pakistan were skittled for 138.
Sri Lanka's response was slow but steady. Silva's 80 took almost five and a half hours, though he was lucky to escape a reviewed decision for a catch off Zulfiqar Babar at slip when 13: replays indicated no contact, but Paul Reiffel, the third umpire, omitted to check for lbw, and it was later shown that the ball was hitting the stumps. So Silva survived - and no one else was in any great rush either. Mathews made the only other half-century of the innings, using up 153 deliveries over his 77, as Sri Lanka amassed a lead of 177. Yasir Shah took another six wickets, but had to toil through more than 40 overs, with Wahab Riaz able to bowl only nine because his hand had been broken by Chameera when he batted.
Azhar Ali then outdid even Silva for patience, surviving eight and a half hours for 117 as he led a much stronger Pakistan response. He put on 120 for the second wicket with Ahmed Shehzad, and 73 for the third with Younis Khan, who was winning his 100th cap. But, after Younis departed for 40, Azhar had to watch wickets tumble at the other end.
Misbah-ul-Haq was the first victim of Prasad's canny use of the second new ball, shortly before lunch on the fourth day, trapped by one that seamed in. Prasad later had Sarfraz Ahmed caught behind, then yorked Yasir. The remainder of the lower order surrendered to Chameera, who nudged 150kph during the afternoon. Finally, running out of partners, Azhar was stumped after reaching his fifth Test century against Sri Lanka, and ninth in all. Pakistan's last six fell for 55, with Prasad adding four for 92 to his three first-innings scalps. Chandimal made six dismissals in the innings, equalling
Amal Silva's national record, set against India at the SSC in 1985-86.
Sri Lanka needed only 153 for their 50th Test win on home soil, but could not start until the fifth morning because of rain. And, with more bad weather forecast for the afternoon, they looked to collect the runs quickly against an attack lacking Wahab. Vithanage, sent in to open, whipped his first delivery over midwicket, and hit three more fours, plus successive sixes off Zulfiqar Babar, in his 23-ball 34. Karunaratne stroked a smooth fifty and, though Sangakkara was out for a golden duck in his final innings against long- suffering Pakistan - he finished with 2,911 runs against them in 23 Tests at an average of 74 - Mathews and Thirimanne settled matters before the weather could make a difference.
Man of the Match: K. T. G. D. Prasad.