Sri Lanka’s resounding 246-run victory over Pakistan in the second Test at Galle has put them in the top five of the ICC World Test Championship standings.
The series of two tests between the two countries was an exciting one, with both teams winning a match each. Pakistan went up 1-0 in the series with a four-wicket win in the first Test. By chasing 342, the visitors increased their chances of making it to the final of the World Testing Championship next year, moving to third in the standings, while Sri Lanka eventually dropped to sixth.
And now the tables have turned, with Sri Lanka climbing to third place with a win rate of 53.33, while Pakistan has fallen to number 5 with a win rate of 51.85.
South Africa remains in the lead with a PCT of 71.43%, followed by Australia at 70%. South Africa have a good chance of widening the gap when they face England in a three-game Test series next month.
The architect of Sri Lanka’s 246-run victory was left-armer Prabath Jayasuriya, who has been making waves in Test cricket since his debut earlier this month. In just six Test innings, he has amassed 29 wickets, including four five-wicket hauls and a 10-wicket match-haul.
The crafty spinner took 3/80 in the first innings, including the wickets of the dangerous Babar Azam (16) and Agha Salman (62), who were leading the way in the first innings. Along with Ramesh Mendis’ five-for-one, Sri Lanka was able to narrow Pakistan down to just 231, securing a 147-point lead.
The hosts then delivered an impressive batting performance led by centurion Dhananjaya de Silva (109) to give Pakistan a daunting goal of 508. The visitors had put down a confident 89/1 by the end of day four. Imam-ul-Haq was there early on day five, but a great collaboration of 78 runs between Babar and Mohammad Rizwan helped them get through the first hour of the day with ease.
However, within the span of seven overs, the momentum bounced back in the hosts’ favor. It started with Jayasuriya knocking out Rizwan for 37, a terrible mix-up resulted in Fawad Alam (1) running out and Jayasuriya striking again three overs later to catch Agha Salman (4) just before lunch.
Things quickly deteriorated for Pakistan after the break. Their lone fighter, Captain Babar Azam, became Jayasuriya’s fourth victim, falling for a gritty 81. In the next over, Ramesh Mendis removed Mohammad Nawaz for 12.
Yasir Shah tried to delay the inevitable with a quick knock of 27, but Jayasuriya had other plans. Wicket’s eighth and ninth fell in the space of three balls. Naseem Shah set up an 18-run tie for the last wicket, but it was too little, too late for the visitors as Sri Lanka headed for a 246-run victory.
Prabath Jayasuriya finished with a match-haul of 8/197, while Ramesh Mendis registered a match-haul of 9/148.