Noman Ali celebrates with teammates.© AFP
Noman Ali took seven wickets to lead Pakistan’s rout of Sri Lanka by an innings and 222 runs to clinch the second Test inside four days and sweep the series 2-0 on Thursday. The left-arm spinner took the first seven and fast bowler Naseem Shah took the final three to bowl out Sri Lanka for 188 in the evening session in Colombo.
Noman returned career-best figures of 7-70 in his 15th Test as Sri Lanka suffered their heaviest Test defeat at home. Pakistan, who won the opening Test by four wickets, declared their first innings on 576-5 after just two overs in the morning session with a blowout lead of 410 runs.
Opener Abdullah Shafique stood out with his 201 in an innings that saw three century stands, including a 124-run partnership with Agha Salman, who smashed an unbeaten 132.
The hosts started strongly with an opening stand of 69 until Noman bowled Nishan Madushka for 33 with his first ball of the day and ruled the roost thereafter. Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne hit boundaries off Naseem and Shaheen Shah Afridi, with Madushka joining the charge until his departure.
Left-hander Karunaratne fell for 41 after lunch and Noman soon sent back Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal before Dhananjaya de Silva attempted to resist in his brief stay with Mathews.
De Silva fell for 10 when he was caught out by Abrar Ahmed while attempting a big heave over long-on.
Angelo Mathews hit an unbeaten 63 and put on some fight with Ramesh Mendis before he was finally stumped off Noman, who went wicketless in Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 166. Naseem bowled at express pace and reversed the old ball to miss out on a couple of close lbw calls but finally wrapped up the tail with two wickets in one over.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan’s concussion substitute Mohammad Rizwan reached 50 off 67 balls with three fours in the second over and put on 108 runs with overnight partner Salman. Pakistan held all the aces after bundling out Sri Lanka for 166, with Shafique’s maiden Test double ton guiding them to a mammoth total.
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