Pakistan beat Sri Lanka in a thrilling run chase

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GALLE, Sri Lanka — Opener Abdullah Shafique hit a sublime unbeaten 160 to lead Pakistan in a chase of 342 to beat Sri Lanka by four wickets in the first Test in Galle.

It is Pakistan’s second-highest chase in Tests and the highest target ever achieved at Galle.

The tourists started day five on 222-3, needing 120 runs, and were cruising to the target before losing three wickets in quick succession to slip to 303-6.

But Shafique, 22, held his nerve after a rain delay to hit the winning runs.

Sri Lanka were left to rue missed chances, with the hosts dropping Shafique twice during the morning session.

Pakistan’s highest Test chase is 377, also against Sri Lanka, in Kandy in 2015.

“The plan was simple – we have to go for the runs,” said Shafique, who now has two tons in his six Test appearances.

“The pitch was difficult but as you spent more time, it got easier.”

Pakistan captain Babar Azam hit a brilliant 119 in his side’s first-innings total of 218 to ensure they only trailed by four runs.

Sri Lanka batter Dinesh Chandimal then followed his 76 in the first innings with an unbeaten 94 in his side’s 337 to set up a record target in Galle.

Shafique anchored the chase magnificently, taking 408 balls for his 160, with Babar adding 55 and Mohammad Rizwan a crucial 40.

Rizwan fell to spinner Prabath Jayasuriya, starting a run of three wickets for only 27 runs, but Shafique found able support in number eight Mohammad Nawaz, who hit 19 not out, as Pakistan reached 344-6.

The second Test is also at Galle and starts on Sunday. — BBC



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