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Sri Lanka wins by 7 wickets as Pakistan flops

SPINNER Rangana Herath's maiden five-wicket haul helped Sri Lanka to its first home test series victory against Pakistan as the hosts won the second test in Colombo by seven wickets yesterday with two days to spare.

Needing 171 runs to win, Sri Lanka reached the target for the loss of just three wickets to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Sri Lanka won the first match by 50 runs in Galle last week.

Sri Lanka hadn't won a test series against Pakistan at home in five previous attempts.

Opener Malinda Warnapura set up the win for the hosts with a brisk 54 off 56 balls, his seventh test half-century. He was caught behind by wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal off seamer Abdur Rauf after hitting seven fours and a six.

His partner Tharanga Paranavitana departed earlier for 17 bowled by spinner Saeed Ajmal.

Captain Kumar Sangakkara was caught by Misbah-ul-Haq at slip off part-time spinner Shoaib Malik for 46.

Earlier, Herath bowled a mesmerizing spell in the post-lunch session to steal the momentum as Pakistan lost its last eight second-innings wickets for just 26 runs, squandering the contribution of Fawad Alam who struck 168.

The visitors were well placed on 294-2 at lunch on the third day but crumbled to 320 all out in their second innings.

Seamer Nuwan Kulasekera complimented Herath with four wickets.

Sangakkara's decision to hand Herath the second new ball soon after lunch produced immediate results when Mohammad Yousuf was trapped leg before wicket for six.

Misbah made just three before he was out lbw to Kulasekera.

Alam was caught by Warnapura off Herath after spending more than six hours at the crease. He faced 259 balls and hit 15 boundaries and a six.

Malik, Pakistan's top-scorer in the first innings, was bowled for six by Herath, who returned figures of 5-99. Kulasekera had 4-37.

Earlier, Alam had joined captain Younis Khan in a 200-run stand for the second wicket to resurrect Pakistan's chances.

Khan was out shortly before lunch for 82, his 21st test half century, when he attempted a reckless reverse-sweep off a full-toss from part-time offspinner Paranavitana and was caught by wicketkeeper Tillakaratne Dilshan. His runs came off 152 balls and included seven boundaries.

Pakistan was bundled out for 90 on the first day, its worst test innings against Sri Lanka. Pakistan seamer Umar Gul and spinner Ajmal each claimed four wickets to restrict Sri Lanka's first innings to 240, removing the last seven wickets for 76 runs.


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