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'Want Herath throughout my career' - Chandimal
03 October 2017, 08:33 | Percy Christensen
Dinesh Chandimal scored unbeaten 155 runs with 14 fours
Rangana Herath claimed his 400th Test wicket as Sri Lanka secured a dramatic 21-run win over Pakistan in Abu Dhabi to answer their critics in style. It was, aptly, Herath, who took the winning wicket as he got Abbas plumb in front of wicket to clinch his 400th wicket and a famous win for Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankan tweaker is the fourth fastest to the mark, beating the likes of Anil Kumble (85 Tests), Glenn McGrath (87 Tests) and Shane Warne (92 Tests). Before Herath, Daniel Vettori had held the record for the most wickets by a left-arm orthodox with 362 wickets.
Herath was delighted at reaching the milestone.
Starting off the day on 69/4, Sri Lanka lost batsman Kusal Mendis early on in the day as he was given out lbw off the bowling of Mohammad Abbas for 18.
Veteran left-arm spinner Herath was the most successful bowler with 2-47. I was so happy with the remarkable achievement (400 wickets). "It took me a long time (to make runs), but that is how you play on this pitch and I'm happy".
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Sri Lanka, who resumed at 69-4, lost their last six wickets for 69 runs but Dickwella still put up a lone fight - hitting four boundaries - and more importantly giving Sri Lanka a target to fight.
Earlier, leg-spinner Yasir Shah took 5-51 - his 32nd five wicket haul in Tests - to dismiss Sri Lanka for 138 in their second innings. Among these 10 instances, 11.43, the average runs scored per wicket, in Abu Dhabi Test is the lowest.
Herath had taken 5-93 in Pakistan's first innings of 422 and this time he shared the new ball with Suranga Lakmal to put Pakistan in trouble with regular wickets. There was, however, a mini revival, the only bright spot at that for Lanka batting as Niroshan Dickwella and Lakshan Sandakan stitched a crucial 34-run partnership. It's hard in the middle, Dickwella and Karunaratne were very good in the first innings, Dickwella was unbelievable in the second innings to get us to the 140-run mark. The Sri Lankan fifth-day tropes were evident in abundance: the over-appealing wicketkeeper, the non-stop yammering around the bat, the exuberant celebrations. All credit should go to the people behind me, from my parents to the team and the supporting staff. "We all knew the legend Rangana would come into play, and finally he did his best".
The two teams will now meet each other in the second and final Test beginning October 6 at the Dubai International Stadium, Dubai.
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