Herath spins Sri Lanka to a dramatic win
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 7th July 2009
Rangana Herath helped Sri Lanka to stage a daylight robbery of sorts as they beat Pakistan by 50 runs at Galle. Herath was the star for Sri Lanka today with four wickets, and he started Pakistan's downfall with the wicket of Yousuf, continued to pile pressure on the Pakistani batsmen relentlessly. He was well supported by Thushara’s accurate medium pace as they picked up six wickets between them. Pakistan lost their remaining eight wickets for just 46 runs.
Herath was handed the ball in the second over of the day and he struck immediately off his first ball when he slipped in a straight arm ball to Yousuf who, expecting the ball to turn away played down the wrong line and was trapped leg before. A couple of balls later Butt lost his head and heaved a flighted ball straight down deep square leg’s throat to leave Pakistan at a shaky 72 for 4. The nightmare did not end there as in the third ball of the next over Malik was sucked into playing at a beautiful out swinger from Thushara, which he duly nicked behind to Dilshan who accepted the catch gleefully. Misbah and Akmal tried to stem the fall of wickets but Akmal did not last long as he played, feet stuck in the ground, all around a straighter one from Thushara. The umpire had no hesitation in giving Akmal his marching orders as soon as the bowler and the fielders around the bat went up in appeal.
Misbah continued with his fancy for getting out at the most crucial situation of the match in the most bizarre way. After being hit on the pad, the ball trickled down the leg side and Misbah sensing that there was a run set off. Dilshan immediately whipped off his gloves and scored a direct hit at the non-striker’s end which found Misbah just short of his ground. Pakistan lost five wickets for 20 runs in 15 overs. Ajantha Mendis ended a 10-run stand between Abdur Rauf and Umar Gul and just when it seemed that Rauf would get the innings past the lunch break, Herath had one more trick up his sleeve as he got the batsman to edge it behind to slips to complete a dramatic win for the Lankan team.