Pakistan v Sri Lanka 2017, 2nd Test - 5 Talking Points

Karunaratne plays a shot during the second day. —AFP

Spain sealed their place in next year's World Cup by routing Albania 3-0 on Friday in a match laced with political tension amidst Catalonia's drive for independence and blighted by more jeers for Gerard Pique.

This is also Pakistan's first home defeat since losing to South Africa 1-0 in 2007, a series held on their grounds, and only the second whitewash in their history.

Dinesh Chandimal officially stepped into the captaincy about 48 hours before the beginning of a Test, and his team very almost lost it, against Zimbabwe.

After conceding a first-innings deficit of 220, Pakistan looked certain to fall to a heavy loss but it dragged itself back into contention by bowling out the tourist for 96 before Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed (68) put on a record sixth-wicket partnership on day four.

Stat of the day This was the ninth Test Pakistan have lost in their past 11 matches, a run that started when they lost the final match of their three-Test series against West Indies in Sharjah a year ago.

The effects of the vacuum left by the retirements of players like Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan should be a cautionary tale for Pakistan. Dilruwan Perera got the first breakthrough of the day for the visitors dismissing Sarfraz Ahmed (68).

Hurricane Maria weakens into tropical storm
Maria could bring some coastal flooding as well as significant beach erosion to the region as well, according to AccuWeather. Storm surge between 2 feet and 4 feet is expected, mostly north of Cape Hatteras.

The impact on Pakistan's Test side will not be so important beyond this match - Pakistan do not play another Test until May next year when they tour England for a two-Test series.

"Test captaincy is a little hard and I've learnt a lot. We came close in both matches, but we haven't played good cricket and that's why we have lost the series", he said. "The boys are new as well and they will learn".

However, Pakistan stunned the Sri Lankans as it sent half of their batsmen including first innings Centurion Dimuth Karunaratne and in-form Dinesh Chandimal to the pavilion for just 34 runs in second innings. "Those were tough times for everyone but we learn a lot of things from that India series as a team and as individuals". This was my first series as captain and it was pretty tough. "And the management and selectors gave the team a lot of confidence".

Sri Lanka won a nail-biting first Test in Abu Dhabi by 21 runs.

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