Herath's 400th Test wicket seals dramatic Sri Lanka win
There was a landmark wicket for veteran bowler Rangana Herath as Sri Lanka narrowly overcame Pakistan.
Rangana Herath claimed his 400th Test wicket as Sri Lanka secured a dramatic 21-run win over Pakistan in Abu Dhabi to answer their critics in style.
The veteran bowler stole the headlines on an action-packed final day of the first Test, bringing up his landmark scalp with the match-clinching lbw dismissal of Mohammad Abbas.
It was the 16th wicket to fall on Monday as Pakistan were all out for 114, after Sri Lanka â€“Â whitewashed in all formats on their tour of India â€“Â posted 138.
Herath ended with figures of 6-43 to give his side the lead in the two-match series, becoming only the second Sri Lankan to take 400 wickets in the longest format â€“ half the total compiled by legendary compatriotÂ Muttiah Muralitharan.
The 39-year-old's man-of-the-match display came on a pitch that deteriorated badly on the fifth day, when runs were hard to come by and no batsman was able to stamp his authority.Â
It all meant that a contest which had failed to provide much in the way of entertainment for four days concluded in memorable fashion.
Sri Lanka were left to defend 136 after lunch, withÂ Niroshan Dickwella's 40 not out representing their only meaningful resistance with the bat.
Yasir Shah helped himself to a five-for to set up what looked to be a very achievable chase for Pakistan.
But the warning signs were there from very early in their second innings, with HerathÂ dismissing Sami AslamÂ for twoÂ as the left-arm spinner began to weave his magic.
Pakistan were rarely able to build momentum and on 36-5 they were well on their way to blowing it.
A brief rally saw Sarfraz Ahmed (19) and Haris SohailÂ (34) put on 42, but HerathÂ refused to stay quiet for long and he ultimately broke up the partnership when SarfrazÂ came down the pitch and missed a dipping delivery, allowing DickwellaÂ to stump him.
That broke Pakistan's spirit and the tail was cleaned up in short order, although only after Kusal MendisÂ had prematurely celebrated the win when his catch came off a Dilruwan Perera no ball.
Herath's place in the history books was the final action of the match, sparking wild celebrations from a Sri Lanka side who exorcised some of the demons of their India misery.Â
The second meeting starts on Friday in Dubai.