If the loss in the first Test had given a slight indication that the road without Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan was going to be tough, then the defeat in the just-concluded second Test in Dubai has almost proved it.
Out of the four innings in the two-Test series, Pakistan suffered inexplicable collapses on three occasions against Sri Lanka who entered the series after nine straight losses across formats. The last failure, nonetheless, led to a series-losing defeat and ended Pakistan’s unbeaten streak at the UAE where they had not lost since shifting their base in 2009.
After an inspired bowling performance saw Pakistan bowling out Sri Lanka for 96 in the second innings to claw their way back into the game, the batsmen came up with a disappointing performance once again.
Even before the team could plan how to approach the chase, half of the team was back in the pavilion with only 52 runs on the board. However, an unbeaten 146-run stand between skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and Asad Shafiq helped the hosts to close the penultimate day on 198 for five. The duo cautiously began the final day, adding 27 runs more but once Sarfraz was sent back by Dilruwan Perera, the home side fell like a pack of cards. Even a Shafiq century could not help them to save their spotless record in UAE, as they lost their last five wickets for 23 runs to lose the game by 68 runs.
Speaking after the 2-0 whitewash, Sarfraz admitted his team did not play good cricket and consequently lost the games. He also did not shy away from crediting Sri Lanka bowlers for the performance.
he said at the presentation ceremony.