Rangana Herath becomes first left-arm spinner to pick 400 Test wickets

Tuesday, 03 Oct, 2017

Chandimal also hailed wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella whose battling 40 not out took Sri Lanka to 138 in their second innings after Pakistani leg-spinner Yasir Shah recorded five for 51.

Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal was relieved to have won, and said: "We are over the moon". The 39-year-old left-armer grabbed 6 for 43 - taking 11 wickets in the match - as Pakistan slumped to 114 all-out chasing a target of 136 to win. The wicket-keeper's highest test score, surpassing 81 in July against Zimbabwe, lasted 117 balls, and included nine fours and a six.

It took nearly four days for the first 20 wickets of the match to fall and then only a little over a day for the next 20 dismissals as Pakistan crumbled to quality spin an hour or so into the final sessions of the match. In doing so, Herath became one of the rare breeds of bowlers to take 100 wickets against Pakistan.

South Africa made short work of Bangladesh early on the final day of the first Test to complete a 333-run victory at Potchefstroom. Yet, we can hardly take our eyes off him when he bats.

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. Had the stand continued to make runs at the going rate of scoring, it would have eaten into 11 more overs of the match.

Sri Lanka scripted an awesome heist against Pakistan in the first test match at Dubai when they emerged victorious by 21 runs. Credit goes to people like Dickwella and Karunaratne. If a result appeared out of the question at that point, it appeared all but certain once the Sri Lankans had crumbled to 138 all out in their second innings. "There was something for the spinners so I got this success", he said. "We wanted a good partnership up front but we didn't get that and that put us under pressure". While most of the other Sri Lankan batsmen succumbed to the extreme conditions, Chandimal continued his marathon innings with a rock-solid defence and a monk-like temperament.

"After we got that wicket, we all celebrated as we had a win as a team, finally after a long time". England's Johnny Briggs had also taken seven five-fors against Australia, although he played 31 matches - to Herath's 20 - against them.

"I am really proud of this achievement", Herath said. All credit should go to the people behind me, from my parents to the team and the supporting staff.