Sri Lanka win by seven wickets in Galle

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Sri Lanka held their nerve in a race against the rain to win the first Test against Pakistan by seven wickets in Galle on Sunday, reaching the 99 runs they required with seconds to space before the heavens opened.

Sri Lanka held their nerve in a race against the rain to win the first Test against Pakistan by seven wickets in Galle on Sunday, reaching the 99 runs they required with seconds to space before the heavens opened.

Having bowled Pakistan out for 180 by tea, the final session saw the hosts chase 99, and they sent Mahela Jayawardene to open so that he could bat at the fortress ground one more time before retirement. He made 26.

The day began with Pakistan still batting, on four for one. They had lost Khurram Manzoor the evening before, and sent Saeed Ajmal in as night watchman. He did not last long in the morning, out to Dhammika Prasad.

The visiting batsmen could not cope with the spine of Rangana Herath, as he took six wickets in the innings, ripping through the order as only Sarfraz Ahmed managed a score of significance, not out on 52 in the end.

Sri Lanka thus had to see out the evening to score their 99, and they had to do so with clouds rolling in. The final 40 runs were fraught as the ground staff stood on the roped with covers ready to go.

Once Mahela, and his mate Kumar Sangakkara departed, it was up to skipper Angelo Mathews to see the side home. He needed to bat quickly on a difficult deck, and he managed it, scoring 25 off 13 balls to beat the rain.

The second and final Test will be played in Colombo, starting on 14 August. It will be Jayawardene's final Test before retirement.

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