Angelo Mathews (Centre) © AFP

Aug 16, 2014

Test cricket’s top-ranked spinner Rangana Herath skittled Pakistan’s top order on way to surpassing the 250-wicket mark to put Sri Lanka on top in the second Test in Colombo on Friday.

The 36-year-old left-arm bowler grabbed five wickets as Pakistan, replying to Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 320, were reduced to 140-5 after tea on the second day at the Sinhalese Sports Club, reports AFP.

The sixth-wicket pair of Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed stemmed the rot with a 93-run stand that lifted the tourists to 244-6 by stumps, still trailing by 76 runs with four wickets in hand.

Shafiq became Herath’s 251st victim, bowled for 42 just before stumps, but Sarfraz remained unbeaten on a fighting 66 in a match the tourists must win to level the two-match series.

Sarfraz, the dapper wicket-keeper, insisted Pakistan will not lose sight of the fact that they must win the game.

“We are here to win,” he said. “We will remain positive for the rest of the match. The pitch is getting slower and it is difficult to score freely. Spinners will have a big role to play.”

Sarfraz lauded Herath’s effort, calling him a world class spinner. “Lot of credit to Herath,” he said. “He knows these conditions so well and makes the most of it.”

Herath, playing his 57th Test, is only the third Sri Lankan bowler to reach the 250-wicket mark after world record holder Muttiah Muralitharan (800) and Chaminda Vaas (355).

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