Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka in the first Test of the ongoing two-match series at Galle International Stadium on Wednesday. The visitors successfully chased down the massive target of 342 to register their second-highest successful chase in the longest format.
The tourists were 112/8 at one stage in the first innings, but skipper Babar Azam made a brilliant hundred and took them to a touching distance of Sri Lanka’s score. However, the man of the moment was Abdullah Shafique, who exhibited top-class batting during Pakistan’s chase in the second innings.
Shafique made his highest Test score of 160 and remained unbeaten as he took his side home. Pakistan did struggle in the initial phase as they lost three wickets in quick succession, including the vital scalp of Mohammad Rizwan.
Prabath Jayasuriya was once again impressive with the ball as he bagged a four-wicket haul, but overall, Sri Lanka just couldn’t restrict the run-flow as the visiting side took a 1-0 lead with one Test to go.
“I am happy that we were able to chase. Congratulations to the entire team for this record chase. Our plan was simple. We had to go get the runs. It was difficult, but with time it was easier. Spinners with the new ball was slightly tough to play. Babar is one of the best in the world. We have learnt so much from him. I enjoyed batting with him in the middle,” said Shafique after the game.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
🇵🇰️ won the first Test by 4 wickets | Lead the 2-match series 1-0.
— Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) July 20, 2022
Highest batting average in Test history (minimum 10 innings):
99.94 – Don Bradman 🇦🇺
80.00 – Abdullah Shafique 🇵🇰
65.72 – Stewie Dempster 🇳🇿
63.05 – Sid Barnes 🇦🇺
62.73 – Daryl Mitchell 🇳🇿#SLvPAK
— Nic Savage (@nic_savage1) July 20, 2022
Abdullah Shafique is the first batsman in Test history to bat 500+ minutes in a successful chase. He stayed on the wicket for 524 mins. #SLvPak
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) July 20, 2022
— Saj Sadiq (@SajSadiqCricket) July 20, 2022
Openers to stay unbeaten in a successful 300+ chase in Test cricket:
Gordon Greenidge🏝️(214*) v ENG at Lord's, 1984
Abdullah Shafique🇵🇰 (160*) v SL at Galle, 2022
On both occasions, their teams chased a target of 342.#SLvPAK
— Kausthub Gudipati (@kaustats) July 20, 2022
WTC 2021-23 points table:
1) South Africa – 71.43
2) Australia – 70
3) Pakistan – 58.33
4) India – 52.08
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) July 20, 2022
— Mpumelelo Mbangwa (@mmbangwa) July 20, 2022
— Ian Raphael Bishop (@irbishi) July 20, 2022
Abdullah Shafique has now starred in one of Pakistan’s greatest rearguard efforts in a draw (Karachi, March 2022) & in one of their greatest run-chases (Galle, July 2022) in Test history, all in the space of 3 months and 6 Tests. An old-school future star has arrived #SLvPak
— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) July 20, 2022
— Estelle Vasudevan (@Estelle_Vasude1) July 20, 2022
Fairy-tale win for Pakistan. 300-plus chases in fourth innings look so achievable in modern-day cricket #PAKvsSL
— Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) July 20, 2022
What a win for Pakistan. Top effort from Abdullah Shafique to hit 160* in the 4th inngs at Galle. Babar's ton in the 1st inngs was special. Pak were 85/7 in the 1st inns & reached 218. One of their finest Test wins
— Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) July 20, 2022
Defining innings from Abdullah. Calmness personified and old school batting.
— Bharath Ramaraj (@Fancricket12) July 20, 2022
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) July 20, 2022