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Herath the hero as Sri Lanka nails thriller

Left-arm spinner sends Pakistan crashing to 180 on dramatic day with 6 for 48; host seals seven-wicket win just before rain arrives

Herath the hero as Sri Lanka nails thriller - Cricket News
Rangana Herath took 6 for 48 to help Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by seven wickets.
Sri Lanka pulled off a thrilling seven-wicket win against Pakistan on Sunday (August 10), the final day of the first Test at the Galle International Stadium, amidst threats of rain and bad light. 
 
Rangana Herath, the left-arm spinner, starred with a six-wicket haul for Sri Lanka. Herath's 6 for 48 helped Sri Lanka bundle Pakistan out for 180 in its second innings. Needing 99 from a minimum of 21 overs, Sri Lanka reached home in the 17th over. 
 
In a rare move, Sri Lanka opted to open the innings with Mahela Jayawardena. The veteran batsman, who is due to retire from the format at the end of this series, top-scored with 26. Kumar Sangakkara chipped in with 21 before Angelo Mathews, the captain, made a quickfire 25 not out, off just 13 balls, and in the company of Kithruwan Vithanage (11 not out off 8 balls) took his team over the line. 
 
The win was set up in the 16th over of the innings, bowled by Junaid Khan, the left-arm seamer who was smashed for 17 runs by Mathews and Vithanage, before the former hit the winning run in the next over just before the skies opened up in Galle. 
 
Earlier, Pakistan, resuming on 4 for 1, lost its way in the morning session, losing three wickets to head into lunch at a precarious 66 for 4. 
 
Saeed Ajmal, the nightwatchman, was the first to fall, when Dhammika Prasad's right-arm pace inducing an edge that was pouched by Niroshan Dickwella, the wicketkeeper. Dilruwan Perera, the off-spinner, then had Ahmed Shehzad leg before for 16. 
 
Pakistan was handed another blow before the break when Herath had Younus Khan, the first-innings centurion, castled for 13 as Pakistan slipped to 55 for 4. 
 
Azhar Ali and Misbah-ul Haq, the captain, then tried to steady the innings, putting on 56 for the fifth wicket either side of the lunch break. However, the duo departed in quick succession. Ali (41) was caught behind off Herath, while Misbah (28) was trapped in front by Perera in the very next over. 
 
Herath then struck for a fourth time, removing Asad Shafiq, Pakistan's last recognised batsman, for 8. 
 
Sarfraz Ahmed, the wicketkeeper, continued to leading the resistance. However, Shaminda Eranga had Abdur Rehman caught behind at the stroke of tea, before Herath removed Mohammad Talha and Junaid Khan, the last man, as Sarfraz was left stranded, unbeaten on 52.
 
The second and final Test will be played at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo from Thursday.

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