Pakistan celebrated test cricket’s return to the country after a decade with an emotional 1-0 series victory against Sri Lanka after teenager Naseem Shah bowled them to a 263-run win in the second and final match in Karachi.

A lot of coaxing and cajoling went behind organising the series, which marked Pakistan’s first tests on home soil since the 2009 militant attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in Lahore.

Top Sri Lankan cricketers opted out of a limited-overs series in Pakistan earlier this year and agreed to travel for the test series only after promised watertight security.

The hosts needed only 16 deliveries to claim the last three wickets and Naseem grabbed two of them to signal his arrival as Pakistan’s next pace prospect.

Chasing an improbable 476 for victory, Sri Lanka folded for 212, their last four batsmen perishing without adding a single run to the total.

“Definitely we needed this performance. Special thanks to the Sri Lankan team and the Sri Lankan board from the bottom of our hearts” for touring Pakistan, elated home captain Azhar Ali said at the presentation ceremony.

RNZ

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