For ten years Pakistani fans longed to see their favourite stars in action on home soil. Not only the fans but an entire generation of Pakistani cricketers grew up bereft of what is considered a normal: playing cricket in front of your fans on home soil. That all changed with the Sri Lankan team- ironically the same side that last played a Test series in Pakistan- agreed to tour the terror-ravaged nation.
But, with rain playing spoilsport and their batting falling like nine-pins [191 all-out] on the opening day of the second Test in Karachi, the script was threatening to go incredibly wrong for the home side but a defiant and record-breaking Abid Ali’s second hundred  and a monumental opening stand with Shan Masood  paved the way for the shenanigans of the likes of Azhar Ali  and Babar Azam [100*] to take over.
Pakistan racked up a monumental 3-555, and to top their batting effort, 16-year-old Naseem Shah wrecked the Sri Lankan batting unit, on his way to becoming the youngest ever to do so. Pakistan notched up their first Test win of the year by 263 runs, and naturally, Azhar Ali was chuffed to bits. Courtesy their win in Karachi, Pakistan gained 60 points in the ICC Test championship table, taking their overall tally to 80.
Ali thanked the Sri Lankan team for agreeing to tour Pakistan. He said, “Special thanks to Sri Lanka from the bottom of our hearts. They have given us immense happiness by playing in Pakistan. It was an emotional moment returning home to play.”
Dimuth Karunaratne impressed with the security arrangements in Pakistan
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan captain, who had earlier lamented on his decision of not touring Pakistan for the limited-over series in September, too gave thumbs up to the security offered by the home side.
“The security was really good,” he said in a news conference. “We knew we were secure and we feel safe here. I just want to thank all of the security guards who gave us security, the Pakistan Cricket Board and all of the fans of Pakistan. They were really good. For me, I can say for now it’s really safe here. All of the other countries, all the nations who play cricket, they can come and play cricket here. It’s safe to play in Pakistan.” Ali said as quoted by Sportstar.
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