On Thursday, Pakistan won the first Test against Sri Lanka at Galle by a score of four wickets, breaking another record in the process. Pakistan now has the most wins in Sri Lanka with 10 victories in 28 matches, overtaking India (9 victories in 24 matches) and England (9 victories in 18 games).
10 victories might not sound unusual, but Sri Lanka is a very good team at home, consequently, it is not. The victory was a significant one for Pakistan as well as for Babar Azam, who joined a select group of Pakistani captains.
The victory marked Azam’s seventh away Test win in nine matches as captain, bringing him ahead of Wasim Akram (six victories in 16 matches) and Saleem Malik (six wins in nine).
Azam is now second to the great Misbah-ul-Haq, who led Pakistan to 13 away triumphs in 32 matches. Given that Pakistan was not even permitted to host matches while Misbah was captain, his record of success puts him ahead of everyone since Pakistan mostly played away Test matches at that time.
Today, Pakistan beat Sri Lanka to take a 1-0 lead, in large part because of a magnificent double century by Saud Shakeel in the first innings. Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam were at the crease as Pakistan resumed their run-chase of 131 runs at 48-3.
Before being caught in front of the stumps by Prabath Jayasuriya, Azam scored 24 runs in 28 balls with the help of five fours. After scoring 30 runs in 38 balls, Saud Shakeel was likewise unable to hold out to the end and was eliminated. Imam played an excellent innings, scoring 50 runs (four fours and a six) while remaining unbeaten. On the very first ball he faced, Agha Salman hit a six, which helped Pakistan to win.
On July 24, the second and final Test will start at Singhalese Sports Club in Colombo.