Naseem Shah took his maiden five-wicket haul as Pakistan won a Test after 13 months by defeating Sri Lanka in Karachi. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
At 16 years and 311 days, Naseem Shah of Pakistan is one of the youngest bowlers currently that is creating a sensation in the cricketing world. However, on Monday at the National Stadium in Karachi, Naseem created history as Pakistan secured an emotional Test win at home by defeating Sri Lanka by 263 runs to win the two-match series 1-0 and register their first-ever Test win in the ICC World Test Championships. It was an rare moment of joy for Pakistan as they secured their first Test win after 13 months and it was also a truimphant return back home for Pakistan in what was their first Test series which was hosted in the country after close to 11 years. It took just 15 minutes or 16 balls for Naseem to run through the Sri Lanka tail after they had reduced Sri Lanka to 212/7 at the close of day 4.
Naseem had taken the wicket of Dilruwan in the last over and had earlier chipped in with the big wickets of Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal. However, on the final day, Naseem had his tail up. With his first ball, Naseem managed to get Lasith Embuldeniya gloving a short and sharp ball on the body to Mohammad Rizwan. Although he missed the hat-trick, it was only a matter of time that Pakistan would seal victory. Yasir Shah sent back centurion Oshada Fernando as the batsman tried to run a quicker delivery down to third man but he only edged it to slip to fall for 102. Fittingly, Naseem finished the match with a yorker as Vishwa Fernando was trapped LBW for 0 and he created history by getting his maiden five-wicket haul of 5/31.
Naseem became the youngest pacer in history to take a five-wicket haul, beating the previous mark of 17 years and 257 days set by Mohammad Amir during the Melbourne Test against Australia in 2009. However, the youngest bowler to have taken a five-wicket haul in Tests is Pakistan's Nasim-ul-Ghani, who took 5/116 against the West Indies during the Georgetown Test of 1958.
Speaking after the match, Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali praised the team for showing determination after a tough year. "The last year has been tough for us as a Test team and playing at home after a long time was emotional for us, but we wanted to start fresh on a positive note. And it has been satisfactory. There is so much talent in these youngsters, obviously experience will come with time. They are the best bowlers in Pakistan and we have to back them, Abbas came back strong and Shaheen kept asking for the ball to get his fifer. The platform was laid by the openers for us then. Centuries are very important, but Babar and Asad got important fifties in the first innings. And then Naseem was outstanding," Azhar said.