The seven-for by Noman Ali gave Sri Lanka the worst nightmare ever

On day four, Noman Ali destroyed Sri Lanka's batting in the second session

Naseem Shah’s superb reverse-swing session in the scorching heat of Colombo ended the game after Noman Ali had taken seven wickets with his cunning, accurate left-arm spin. This gave Pakistan about as dominant a victory on Sri Lankan territory as it has managed in recent years.

Although Pakistan’s bowling was fascinating, the numbers of this victory are incredible. Sri Lanka suffered its heaviest home loss ever at the hands of Pakistan, who triumphed by an innings and 222 runs. 

Despite more than a day’s worth of play being effectively lost to rain and poor lighting, they completed it in four days. Noman Ali had a 7 for 70 second innings average. And to put an end to the opposition, Naseem bowled an uninterrupted 7.4 over a stint of sheer fire and reverse swing.

Noman was especially dangerous due to his fly, dip, and speed adjustments. With a combined score of 69, Sri Lanka’s openers enjoyed a strong start to their second innings. But as soon as Noman entered the game, he struck with a stunning ball to dismiss Nishan Madushka for 33, and he proceeded to scythe through the batting order. 

Madushka received a delivery that was bowled from the area surrounding the wicket. The ball drifted in, dipped, pitched on middle and leg, and then leaped off the ground to beat the batter’s outside edge and clip off stump. That occurred in the final ten minutes before lunch.

Noman was unstoppable following the interval. Imam-ul-Haq successfully captured Dimuth Karunaratne at short leg, adding to Pakistan’s impressive record of close catches. Pakistan has excelled in this area during the entire series. 

Next, Kusal Mendis attempted to hit Noman inside out but was unable to reach the pitch of the ball and instead spooned a catch to cover. Even Dhananjaya de Silva, who had a strong series, was dismissed cheaply after holding out too long on to complete Noman’s five-wicket haul. Dinesh Chandimal was also out cheaply after attempting a lap sweep.

When facing Noman, especially early in his innings, Angelo Mathews was having difficulty, despite having just scored an undefeated half-century as the destruction took place at the other end. 

He certainly set some high goals, but he also made nervous defensive plays in between. His confidence ultimately grew. However, none of the Sri Lankan hitters felt at ease against Noman because he bowled a few loose deliveries, got plenty of bite off the surface, and kept challenging them on length.

There was still a chance he could take all ten wickets in an innings when he got his sixth and seventh dismissals, catching Sadeera Samarawickrama at point when the ball bounced more than expected and then stumping Ramesh Mendis.

But at the opposite end, Naseem was casting a brave spell. It is difficult to emphasize how much he was influencing the old ball to swing, especially into the right-hander. In order to hide the glossy side of the ball and, consequently, prevent the batter from knowing which way it would move, he would cover the ball as he rushed in. He also had a fast bowl, occasionally reaching the mid-140 kph range.

He hit the batter on the pads three times in quick succession in one over to Ramesh Mendis, the 62nd of the innings. First, Pakistan appealed a not-out ruling that had been upheld because the ball was swinging down the leg. 

Ramesh went back and evaluated our choices on the following two, and it was discovered that each also had a missing limb. The ball was curved late and quickly.

A prize would eventually come to Naseem. You can probably guess that one of the reasons he bowled such a very long stint was that he did not want to release the ball. 

He bowled Prabath Jayasuriya, who left a delivery that cannoned into his off stump (more evidence of the ball’s tremendous lateral movement), and then he also caused an eruption out of Asitha Fernando and Dilshan Madushanka’s stumps.
Given how far down Sri Lanka was, Mathews’ half-century always seemed to be part of a losing effort. Although it had been raining, Babar Azam’s decision to allow Pakistan to bat for two more overs earlier in the day, believed to allow Mohammad Rizwan to complete his eighth Test half-century, did not at all hurt them because his spinners were so effective and Sri Lanka’s batting crumbled so easily.