03 October, 2017, 08:33 | Author: Laura Christensen
The veteran left-arm spinner took 6-43 - 11-136 in the match - to scupper Pakistan, set a modest 136-run target, for just 114 on a tired fifth day Sheikh Zayed Stadium pitch.
The match saw some drama when Sri Lanka scalped the last wicket but their victory was extended for a while as it turned out to be a no-ball.
In other words, while the two teams managed a combined score of 852 runs for 20 wickets in the first innings, they lost 20 wickets in the process of scoring just 252 runs in the second innings. "I've played almost 20 Tests, maybe that's why", he said. Mohammad Abbas was the pick of the bowlers with three for 75.
Herath has now picked up 10 wickets in a match on nine occasions and also has 33 five-wicket hauls.
Herath had taken 5-93 in Pakistan's first innings of 422 and this time he shared the new ball with Suranga Lakmal to put Pakistan in trouble with regular wickets.
Pakistan, playing a Test match for the first time since Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan retired, had their opponents struggling at 61 for three at lunch.
Herath became the 14th bowler in all test cricket and fifth spinner behind his countryman Muttiah Muralitharan, Australia's Shane Warne and Indian duo of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh to reach the 400-wicket milestone.
Furthermore, the 39 year old Herath became the first left-arm spinner to take 400 wickets in the history of Test cricket.
Rangana Herath claimed his 32nd five-wicket haul to ensure Pakistan's advantage was minimal but the tourists limped to 69 for four at the close, with all four wickets going to the slow bowlers. 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.
Pakistan's chase started badly, losing wickets at 4, 7, 16 and 32 before limping to tea at 67-5 and setting up a tense last session.
- This is also Sri Lanka's smallest margin of win.
Dilruwan ended with 3 wickets, but the stage was set on fire by Herath who took the game by the horns and chose to turn the match in the favor of his team on the final session on the final day.
"[Niroshan] Dickwella was outstanding in the second innings to get us to the 140 mark". We'll try and bounce back in the next game. When you are getting old, it gets increasingly hard, it's a different feeling (on his 400 Test wickets). "We all knew the legend Rangana would come into play, and finally he did his best".
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