Sri Lanka will hope their left-arm spinner Rangana Herath maintains pressure on Pakistan when the second and final Test – a day-night affair with pink ball – starts at Dubai stadium on Friday.
The 39-year-old took 6-43 on the final day to fail Pakistan’s modest 136-run chase in the first Test in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
The narrow 21-run win gives Sri Lanka a unique chance for a series win over Pakistan on their neutral venues of United Arab Emirates where they have never lost a series in nine attempts.
They have won five and drawn four series in the UAE ever since the 2009 terrorist attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus forced them to play home matches out of Pakistan.
Herath exposed the new batting line up of Pakistan, playing without their batting greats Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq for the time since they retired in May this year.
Sri Lankan skipper Dinesh Chandimal described Herath as “a team man and an asset.”
“I have no idea how long he is going to play, but I am sure he will do what he can for the team,” said Chandimal of Herath who completed 400 wickets in his 84th Tests in Abu Dhabi. “He is a team man and an asset.”
The left-arm spinner also reached 100 wickets against Pakistan during the first Test.
“We need to be at our best again and can’t underestimate Pakistan because we know they are a good team,” said Chandimal whose team will rise one spot to replace Pakistan on sixth, even with a 1-0 result.
Chandimal anchored the batting with a polished 155 not out in Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 419, ably filling in for the more experienced Angelo Mathews who didn’t come with the squad due to a calf injury.
Sarfraz Ahmed hopes Pakistan team moves on from the defeat in his first Test as captain.
“We will do our best to be more positive against Herath,” said Ahmed. “We have never lost in UAE so it’s also important to keep that record intact.”
Pakistan will be assess pacer Hasan Ali in the next two days after he had fitness issues while they also hope spearhead Mohammad Amir returns to form with the pink ball after going wicketless in the first Test.
Debutant Haris Sohail provided a positive in the batting after scores of 76 and 34 while Azhar Ali scored 85.
The match will be the sixth day-night Test after the innovation was first adopted by Australia when they took on New Zealand at Adeliade in 2015.
Pakistan beat the West Indies in their first day-night Test at the same venue last year but this will be the first time Sri Lanka feature in a pink ball Test.
Cricket fans in the UAE are in for a treat over the next fortnight as two of the world’s best international teams go head-to-head in Dubai.
Pakistan and Sri Lanka will battle it out at the Dubai International Stadium in the second Test match this Friday before renewing their rivalry in the ODI.
The ODI will be the first time Pakistan has played the one day game since winning the Champions Trophy in June this year. It means Pakistan fans will get the opportunity to witness their star performers to revive memories of victory at the Oval against India earlier this year.
The Test, which will played held from October 6-10, will be a day-night affair with the match starting at 15:00 each day. Ticket prices start from Dh20.
The players will then have two days’ rest before the ODI game on Friday 13 October, which will also begin at 15:00. Tickets for the ODI are available starting from Dh50.
Season packages are being introduced for the first time to enjoy both Test and ODI matches with one ticket. Season ticket prices starts from Dh90. All tickets can be purchased from Q-tickets.com.
VIP Suites (24 pax) start at Dh9,600 per day for the test series and Dh38,000 for the ODI.
They are situated on Level 1 of the Red Zone and occupy prime position in line with the bowler’s arm, ensuring the best view in the house. Packages include a 3 course buffet, outdoor balcony area, fast VIP entrance, flat screen TVs and VIP parking.
Corporate Suites (12 pax) start at Dh4,200 per day for the test series and Dh15,000 for the ODI.
They are situated on Level 2 of the Red Zone and boast uninterrupted panoramic views of the ground. Packages include a three-course buffet, outdoor balcony area, fast VIP entrance, flat screen TVs and VIP parking.
For hospitality bookings, call: 0543076524 or email: [email protected]
Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur believes the top-order batsmen must shoulder some responsibility for failing to give the team a solid start in their second innings chase on Monday.
Needing 136 to win the first Test at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the hosts were reeling at 36-5 after openers Shan Masood (7), Sami Aslam (2), Azhar Ali (0) and Asad Shafiq (20) struggled against Sri Lanka’s attack.
More was expected from them especially after Masood (59), Aslam (51) and Ali (85) scored half-centuries in the first innings and Arthur felt at least one big partnership was needed to beat Sri Lanka.
“My thoughts were that one good partnership would get us home and that needed to have come from the top four and others to bat around them but unfortunately it didn’t happen,” he said.
“I’m just really disappointed with the way things panned out. Today chasing 136 you expect one good partnership so that’s particularly disappointing., It was challenging but we probably should have got there.”
Veteran spinner Rangana Herath was the catalyst, taking match figures of 11-139 including a spell-binding 6-43 in the second innings.
Arthur rued the opportunity that his batsmen could not attack Herath more.
“We did a lot of homework on him,” said the 49-year-old South African. “Our players played against him a lot. But obviously on the last day he was always going to be a factor and you got to give him more respect but I would probably have liked to see our batsmen take him on.
“Early on, I would have liked us to attack him, once you take him on and that goes for any bowler, the game sort of settles down. Had one partnership goes on, I am going back to Niroshan Dickwella in the morning and for a period when Ahmed Sarfraz and Sohail Haris (42-run stand for the sixth-wicket) were batting – the key to that was to remain positive and not get tentative, looking for runs. So if you allow Herath to settle down he will do what he did today so I would have liked us to have attacked him more.”