GALLE: Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka by 10 wickets in the first Test in Galle on Sunday to take the lead in the three-match series.
Leg-spinner Yasir Shah grabbed a career-best seven for 76 to skittle Sri Lanka for a paltry 206 in their second innings just before tea on the fifth and final day.
Pakistan set a victory target of 90, and raced home in 11.2 overs with Mohammad Hafeez remaining unbeaten on 46 and Ahmed Shehzad on 43.
Opener Dimuth Karunaratne top-scored with 79, Lahiru Thirimanne made 44 and and Dinesh Chandimal was last man out for 38, but the rest of the batsmen folded against Pakistan’s incisive bowling in Galle.
The tourists, who led by 117 on the first innings, have the entire post-tea session to achieve the victory target of 90 runs and take the lead in the three-match series.
The 29-year-old Yasir ripped through the batting as Sri Lanka lost their last five wickets for 39 runs after being 167 for five at one stage.
Sri Lanka took their overnight score of 63-2 to 144-4 by lunch, before a further six wickets fell on a dramatic afternoon at the Galle International Stadium.
The hosts lost nightwatchman Dilruwan Perera off the first ball of the day, clean-bowled by Yasir as he shouldered arms to a ball that dipped in after pitching.
The left-handed pair of Karunaratne and Thirimanne gave Sri Lanka the lead with a 69-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
But with the hosts just 15 runs ahead, left-arm seamer Wahab Riaz had Thirimanne caught low at first slip by Younis Khan to keep the interest alive during the lunch break.
Sri Lanka suffered a massive blow off the second ball after resumption when skipper Angelo Mathews was controversially given out caught at short leg by TV umpire Chris Gaffaney.
The New Zealander upheld on-field umpire Richard Illingworth, who had ruled that the batsman was caught at short-leg off Yasir even though replays proved inconclusive on whether the ball had come off the bat.
Mathews, who had called for a review as soon as the umpire raised his finger, was visibly furious as he returned to the pavilion.
Neither hot-spot or snickometer technology is part of the Decision Review System for the series.
Karunaratne’s patience after a vigil of more than four hours at the crease ran out when he attempted a big hit off Yasir, missed the line and was smartly stumped by an agile Sarfraz Ahmed to make it 167-6.
It soon became 175-7 as Kithuruwan Vithanage swept a flighted ball to Zulfiqar Babar at square-leg, giving Yasir his second haul of five wickets or more in an eight-Test career.
Dhammika Prasad was stumped off Babar and Rangana Herath holed out in the deep off Yasir, before Chandimal was last man out, stumped off Yasir.
Bad weather had washed out the entire first day’s play on Wednesday and just 64 overs were bowled on the second day due to a wet outfield.
The Tests will be followed by five one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches.