Pakistan seal triumphant Test cricket return with Sri Lanka win

Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka tour of Pakistan, second Test,
It was just a 14-minute and 16-ball formality for Pakistan on the fifth morning to grab Sri Lanka's last three wickets, dismissing them on their overnight total of 212 in the second innings. Photo: @ICC/Twitter

Pakistan marked the return of international cricket to its homeland after 10 years with a 263-run victory in the second Test match against Sri Lanka in Karachi on Monday (December 23), taking the series 1-0.

It was just a 14-minute and 16-ball formality for Pakistan on the fifth morning to grab Sri Lanka’s last three wickets, dismissing them on their overnight total of 212 in the second innings.

The writing was very much on the wall when Pakistan set a daunting 476-run target for the tourists on Sunday and had them staring at defeat on 212-7 at the close of play.

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Befittingly it was Naseem Shah who at 16 years and 307 days became the second youngest bowler to take five wickets in Test innings. The youngster bowled with fire to finish with 5-31.

Fellow Pakistani Nasim-ul-Ghani — a left-arm spinner — holds the record as the youngest bowler with a five-wicket haul in a Test inning.

Also read: Abid, Masood give Pakistan edge over Sri Lanka in second Test

Ghani completed his feat against the West Indies at Georgetown at the age of 16 years, 303 days.

Naseem was only six when international cricket was suspended in Pakistan following an attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009.

Pakistan were forced to play all their home matches at the neutral venues of United Arab Emirates before improved security allowed them to host various limited over series in the last four years.

The first Test of the series in Rawalpindi marked the return of Test cricket in Pakistan, but it was spoiled by bad weather.

The final day began in a dramatic manner when Naseem dismissed Lasit Embuldeniya off the very first ball, catching his gloves on the way to wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan.

From the other end leg-spinner Yasir Shah had Oshada Fernando caught in the slip for his overnight score of 102. Oshada’s 180-ball knock had 13 boundaries.

Naseem wrapped up the match by trapping Vishwa Fernando with the fifth ball of the next over, triggering jubilation among the Pakistan players who all played their first Test series at home.

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