Pakistan having trailed in the first innings came back into the game and emphatically won the first Test against Sri Lanka. The 24-year-old Abdullah Shafique, playing in just his sixth match became the hero of the match by making an unbeaten 160 on a difficult wicket.
By winning the first Test of the Sri Lanka- Pakistan series, the visiting team broke some records as well. This win is the second highest chase by Pakistan ever. It is also the second highest chase against Sri Lanka in the history of Test cricket. Additionally, it is also the highest-run chase at Galle International Stadium ever.
Talking of the match, Sri Lanka produced 222 runs in the first innings on the back of a great performance from Dinesh Chandimal (76). Pakistan coming onto bat in their first innings faltered from the word get-go. They could only muster 218 runs and that too from a gritty Babar Azam’s century (119). The second highest individual from Pakistan’s first innings was 18 made by the bowler Yasir Shah.
Having taken a four-run lead in the first innings, the home team stretched the lead further by 341 in their second innings. Opener Oshada Fernando came up with a steady fifty on a pitch that could only be defined as a rank turner.
Kushal Mendis was another Sri Lanka batter who achieved a half-century in the match. It was however the in-form batter Dinesh Chandimal again who played an unbeaten knock of 94.
Pakistan approached this big total with caution with both openers giving respect to the good balls. After Imam-ul-Haq’s controversial dismissal, Babar Azam (55) held the innings. It was however the young batter Abdullah Shafique who came up with a mature inning of 160* to see away Sri Lanka’s bowling attack. Wicket Keeper batter Mohammad Rizwan also contributed an important 40 to the run chase. It was Mohammad Nawaz (19*) and Shafique (160*) who took the visiting country across the finish line.
Twitter was elated with Pakistan’s great run chase. Let’s look at some tweets for the entertaining match.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) July 20, 2022
What an absolutely crazy and phenomenal victory for Pakistan ??? Abdullah Shafique is undoubtedly the next big thing in world cricket. Loved the way Pakistan made a comeback in the game – #PAKvSL
— Wajahat Kazmi (@KazmiWajahat) July 20, 2022
OMG Pakistan have done it ? Pakistan makes the history at galle the highest run chase in 4th innings in Galle by Pakistan All credit goes to Abdullah Shafique,Babar Azam, Yasir Shah, Muhammad Nawaz and Pakistan cricket at its best ? one min down next min up ????? #PAKvSL pic.twitter.com/WCTQDumYlH
— Hassan Zahid (@Iam_hassan10) July 20, 2022
— Rai Fazal Abbas Sangra?(Rajpoot)????????? (@FazalSangra) July 20, 2022
Fairy-tale win for Pakistan. 300-plus chases in fourth innings look so achievable in modern-day cricket #PAKvsSL
— Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) July 20, 2022
150+ runs in 4th innings!
Well done Abdullah Shafique, you've made Pakistan proud with your heroics in Srilanka!
2nd highest run chase in our teams test cricket history!
— Abdullah Khan (@TheAbdullahKhan) July 20, 2022
Pakistan win by 4 wickets against Sri Lanka in Galle chasing down 342 in the fourth innings largely down to the patience and application of a 22 year old opening batter who remained unbeaten on 160…I mean…Test Cricket is just flipping fantastic ? ?? #SLvPAK
— Aatif Nawaz (@AatifNawaz) July 20, 2022
Congratulations to Pakistan on a fantastic Test win. Great effort from Asia's top two best all-format teams of all-time. Also, congratultions to Babar Azam on 3K Test runs and becoming 5th fastest overall and fastest Asian to 10K Int'l runs. ???? #SLvPAK #Cricket
— Daniel Alexander (@daniel86cricket) July 20, 2022
— Mpumelelo Mbangwa (@mmbangwa) July 20, 2022