Rangana Herath (L) and Yasir Shah    Getty Images
Rangana Herath (L) and Yasir Shah Getty Images

Amidst debates on the prospect of 4-day Tests, Pakistan and Sri Lanka played an absolute thriller at Abu Dhabi. It was Yasir Shah-versus-Rangana Herath battle that cooked a Super Sunday for the cricket lovers. After a toil on the last day, the bulky, old lad from Sri Lanka had the last laugh, as Sri Lanka defended 136 runs and also pulled off their smallest margin of victory. Sarfraz Ahmed, who tasted defeat in his first match as captain in Test cricket, will be eager to avenge Pakistan’s first-ever Test defeat in UAE when both sides lock horns in the series decider.

Needless to say, Yasir and Herath take centre stage on another slow track. Let us look at what the duo have in store for display.

Herath-angez Rangana

– Herath is the first left-arm spinner to attain 400 Test scalps.

– Herath has taken 100 Pakistani wickets, the most by any player.

– Herath needs 6 wickets to surpass Curtly Ambrose’s tally of 405 scalps.

– Herath requires 7 wickets in the fourth innings to remain only behind his former teammate Muttiah Muralitharan (106). Shane Warne (138) leads the chart.

Yasir-istan

– Yasir is Pakistan’s 13th highest wicket-taker in the format.

– Yasir (157) needs 7 scalps to surpass Umar Gul’s tally.

– Yasir has 12 5-wicket hauls and two 10-fors in a mere 27 Tests.

What can be the difference?

Remember, the series decider will be played under lights. This will be Sri Lanka’s maiden pink-ball Test and third for Pakistan. Visitors will take sometime to adjust in alien conditions, and this is where Pakistan can come hard at them.

Likely XIs

Sri Lanka won’t be eager to shuffle after a spirited win. Such encounters usually bring the unit closer, and they would not want to tinker after a 1-0 lead.

Sri Lanka XI: Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal (c), Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep

Pakistan, on the other hand, need not panic as well. They were very much in contest till the third innings.

Wahab Riaz may get to feature in a pink-ball contest. He can come in handy with the ball moving fiercely.

Pakistan XI: Shan Masood, Sami Aslam, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Mohammad Aamer, Yasir Shah, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Abbas

What they said

Azhar Ali: We have lessons to learn from that experience. Had someone batted for long enough in the first innings, we would have ended up getting a bigger lead. Had we done that, things would have been different. The biggest lesson that we have learnt is that when we have things under control we should make use of them to the maximum.”

Asanka Gurusinha: “It’s not just occupying the crease, but the way he (Chandimal) batted and the way he built partnerships with a couple of players to get us to that score was remarkable. He led from the front and that is the leadership that we are looking from Chandi and he is giving us tenfold”, says SLC’s manager.”

Squads:

Pakistan: Azhar Ali, Shan Masood, Sami Aslam, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Usman Salahuddin, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Asghar, Mohammad Abbas , Bilal Asif, Mir Hamza, Wahab Riaz

Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Rangana Herath, Lakshan Sandakan, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Vishwa Fernando, Lahiru Gamage

Time: 17:00 IST