Azhar Ali offered heartfelt thanks to Sri Lanka following the successful return of Test cricket to Pakistan.

The hosts completed a 263-run win in the second Test in Karachi on Monday, 16-year-old seamer Naseem Shah finishing with five wickets as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 212.

However, while Pakistan could therefore celebrate a series victory, after a drawn first Test in Rawalpindi, the resumption of Test cricket in the country following a 10-year hiatus provided much greater satisfaction.

Prior to this two-match series, Tests had not been played in Pakistan since March 2009, when six policemen and two civilians were killed in an attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore.

A decade on, Sri Lanka's return was the source of much pride and happiness, as Pakistan captain Azhar noted in his post-match comments.

"Special thanks to Sri Lanka from the bottom of our hearts," said Azhar. "They have given us immense happiness by playing in Pakistan. It was an emotional moment returning home to play."

Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne hailed the security staff who have looked after his side during their tour.

"The security was really good," he said in a news conference. "We knew we were secure and we feel safe here.

"I just want to thank all of the security guards who gave us security, the Pakistan Cricket Board and all of the fans of Pakistan. They were really good.

"For me, I can say for now it's really safe here. All of the other countries, all the nations who play cricket, they can come and play cricket here. It's safe to play in Pakistan."

Naseem Shah became the second-youngest player in Test history to claim a five-for as Pakistan took just 16 balls on the fifth morning to wrap up a series-clinching win over Sri Lanka by the emphatic margin of 263 runs in Karachi.

After a drawn first Test in Rawalpindi, Pakistan took charge of the second match by amassing 555-3 declared in their second innings - each of their top four making hundreds - and they began the final day needing just three wickets to seal victory.

Thanks to Naseem and Yasir Shah, the hosts completed the task without conceding a run, centurion Oshada Fernando one of the three Sri Lankan batsmen to fall in successive overs as they were dismissed for 212.

Oshada (102) was caught at slip off Yasir, while Naseem had Lasith Embuldeniya caught behind for a golden duck before trapping Vishwa Fernando lbw to bring the contest to a swift end.

Naseem (5-31) therefore completed a five-wicket haul at the age of 16 years and 307 days. Only Nasim-ul-Ghani, who was four days younger, has returned a Test five-for at a younger age, for Pakistan against West Indies in 1958.

The wicket of Vishwa triggered jubilant scenes as Pakistan - playing a Test series on home soil for the first time in 10 years - revelled in a significant triumph.

Sri Lanka's previous tour of Pakistan ended in tragedy in 2009 when their team bus was attacked by gunmen in Lahore, with eight people killed and several players injured.

A decade on, Sri Lanka's return to Pakistan has been the source of great pride and happiness. While the home side were able to celebrate a series win on Monday, Pakistan's players and fans could take more joy from the simple fact they had been able to play Test cricket at home once again.

Oshada Fernando struck a defiant maiden international century but Pakistan need only three wickets to seal a Test series win over Sri Lanka heading into the final day in Karachi.

The hosts had piled on the runs in the first half of Sunday's play, Azhar Ali (118) ending a year-long wait for a Test century and the classy Babar Azam (100 not out) hitting a third in his last four matches after Abid Ali and Shan Masood had reached three figures on day three.

It was only the second time in history the top four have all made centuries in the longest format, enabling Pakistan to amass a mammoth 555-3 declared at the National Stadium.

The tourists were set an unlikely 476 to secure a 1-0 win in the first Test series to be played in Pakistan for a decade, but they were on the ropes at 212-7 at stumps.

Opener Oshada was unbeaten on 102 after he and Niroshan Dickwella (65) put on 104 for the sixth wicket, but Haris Sohail and the excellent Naseem Shah (3-31) struck late in the day as Pakistan closed in on victory.

Azhar set about Vishwa Fernando with a flurry of boundaries and celebrated his 16th Test century – albeit his first as captain - after Pakistan resumed on 395-2 in batting-friendly conditions.

The home team's skipper, who struck 13 fours in a brilliant knock, was finally on his way when he was stumped coming down the track to Lasith Embuldeniya, ending a third-wicket stand of 148.

Babar hit Lahiru Kumara for three boundaries in a row and the declaration arrived after he had recorded a ton for the second time in the series.

Sri Lanka were in trouble on 40-2 when 16-year-old Naseem had Kusal Mendis taken by Babar at third slip without scoring just one run after captain Dimuth Karunaratne had edged Mohammad Abbas behind.

Shaheen Afridi got in on the act by dismissing Angelo Mathews before tea, but Oshada stood firm and was rewarded with a half-century early in the evening session.

A fourth-day finish looked a possibility after Dinesh Chandimal and Dhananjaya de Silva fell cheaply, but Oshada and Dickwella refused to accept defeat.

Oshada had a life when he was put down by Naseem at backward point on 72 off Yasir Shah, while Dickwella was operating in one-day mode at the other end.

The wicketkeeper-batsman found the ropes 11 times in an entertaining knock before he was bowled by Haris attempting a reverse sweep. Naseem got rid of Dilruwan Perera just before the close too, not long after the resolute Oshada had celebrated reaching his hundred.

Abid Ali and Shan Masood struck centuries on day three to put Pakistan in charge of the second Test against Sri Lanka at the National Stadium in Karachi.

Pakistan were on the back foot with a first-innings deficit of 80 but are in control on 395-2 with a lead of 315 in their second Test on home soil for a decade after Abid and Masood put on 278 for the first wicket.

Abid struck a debut century in the drawn match in Rawalpindi last week and made a sublime 174 on Saturday, becoming the first Pakistan batsman to score hundreds in his first two Tests.

Masood (135) crafted his second Test hundred, with Lahiru Kumara taking the only wickets of a gruelling day for Sri Lanka by removing both openers before Azhar Ali made an unbeaten 57.

The opening stand was just 20 short of the Pakistan record achieved by Aamer Sohail and Ijaz Ahmed against West Indies in 1997 and made Azhar's side firm favourites to secure a 1-0 series win.

Pakistan resumed with work to do on 57 without loss, but Abid and Masood gave them the upper hand in a wicketless opening session.

Abid slog-swept Lasith Embuldeniya for six and was seven short of three figures at lunch, while Masood was also untroubled as the Sri Lanka bowlers toiled without reward on a flat pitch.

The runs continued to flow in the afternoon session, Abid bringing up his hundred by working Embuldeniya for two and Masood also raised his bat after steering Dhananjaya de Silva for a single.

Masood came down the track to loft Embuldeniya for his third six, but he departed to a standing ovation after top-edging Kumara to Oshada Fernando at deep square leg.

Pakistan were 202 in front on 282-1 at tea and Abid continued to torment the tourists, hitting Fernando for three boundaries in an over after passing 150, with Azhar ticking along nicely at the other end.

Abid continued to find the gaps and looked to be heading for a double-century until he was struck in front by Kumara, bringing an end to a magnificent knock that included 21 fours and a six.

Skipper Azhar, out for a second-ball duck in the first innings, coasted to a half-century and Babar Azam was 17 not out at the end of a dream day's play for Pakistan.

Abid Ali and Shan Masood negotiated a tricky final hour as Pakistan wiped out the bulk of their first-innings deficit without losing a wicket on day two of the second Test in Karachi.

After collapsing to 191 all out in their first innings, Pakistan responded well through Shaheen Afridi (5-77) and Mohammad Abbas (4-55) on Friday, but Dinesh Chandimal's 74 lifted Sri Lanka to 271 and a lead of 80.

Pakistan openers Abid and Masood then reached 57 without loss from 14 overs before bad light brought play to a close, leaving the contest intriguingly poised.

The day had started brightly for Pakistan, with both Afridi – who took his first five-for in Tests – and Abbas swiftly hitting their stride in the opening session as Sri Lanka slumped from an overnight score of 64-3 to 80-5.

However, Chandimal stalled Pakistan's momentum, receiving able support from Dhananjaya de Silva (32) and Dilruwan Perera (48), as Yasir Shah proved particularly ineffective.

Part-timer Haris Sohail ultimately claimed the key wicket, Chandimal slicing a short and wide delivery to Masood at backward point.

Dilruwan added more valuable runs following Chandimal's exit, before Afridi wrapped up the innings with two wickets in three balls.

If Sri Lanka sensed an opportunity to seize control heading into day three, they were soon left frustrated as Abid and Masood counter-attacked effectively.

Masood survived a scare when a Sri Lanka appeal for lbw was rejected and the on-field decision stood as a review showed the ball would only have clipped leg stump.

He and Abid then made it through to stumps, with Pakistan just 23 behind as the day came to an end.

Lahiru Kumara and Lasith Embuldeniya did the damage as Pakistan were bowled out cheaply on day one of the second Test before losing three wickets in reply at Karachi National Stadium.

Pakistan collapsed from 127-3 to 191 all out after winning the toss, Kumara taking 4-49 and Embuldeniya – replacing the injured Kasun Rajitha – claiming 4-71.

Azhar Ali's side capitulated after Babar Azam (60) and Asad Shafiq (63) made half-centuries in a series-decider after the first Test in Pakistan for a decade ended in a draw, with only 167 overs possible due to rain and bad light.

The tourists were 64-3 at stumps, trailing by 127 runs, Mohammad Abbas picking up 2-21 on an eventful first day.

Vishwa Fernando and Kumara were excellent with the new ball and the former was rewarded when he cleaned up Shan Masood, then bowled captain Azhar for a second-ball duck.

Abid Ali struck a century on debut in the first Test in Rawalpindi and was going along nicely until he was trapped in front by Kumara, reducing Pakistan to 65-3.

The prolific Babar, who made a hundred last week, came down the track to dispatch Embuldeniya for six and also hit eight fours, but the spinner had the last laugh.

Babar was stumped, foxed by the turn when Embuldeniya tossed one up, and the left-arm tweaker struck again to see the back of Haris Sohail before Kumara hit the top of Mohammad Rizwan's off stump.

Kumara was on a hat-trick in the first over after tea when he trapped Yasir Shah lbw and the paceman drew a poor shot from Shafiq as Pakistan lost six wickets for 24 runs. 

Shaheen Afridi had Oshada Fernando caught behind in the seventh over of Sri Lanka's reply, with Abbas getting rid of skipper Dimuth Karunaratne (25) and Kusal Mendis (13).

Sri Lanka will be counting on former skipper Angelo Mathews when they resume on day two looking to secure a healthy lead.

Ireland's proposed tour of Sri Lanka next year has been postponed.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Wednesday announced that a one-off Test between the two sides in Galle that was due to take place in February will not go ahead.

Cricket Ireland has agreed to SLC's request to reschedule the Test to ensure the match comes under a new broadcast agreement.

The cancellation is another blow for Ireland just a couple of days after a scheduled home Test against Bangladesh was replaced by a Twenty20 International due to financial constraints.

Warren Deutrom, Cricket Ireland's chief executive, said: "We understand that ICC regulations require all Tests to be broadcast, and it became clear only recently that this one-off match was no exception.

"We were far progressed in our planning for this short tour, so we and the travelling squad are obviously disappointed.

"Most of all, we are deeply sorry for those family, friends, cricket fans and media who would have gone to such trouble to make arrangements to travel to Galle for the match.

"Rest assured we shall work as quickly as possible with SLC to identify an alternative slot for the match and we shall communicate that as soon as it is confirmed. We’d like to thank the Ireland fans for their continued support and understanding."

Sri Lanka will be without Kasun Rajitha for the second Test against Pakistan in Karachi.

The paceman suffered a hamstring injury during the rain-ruined series opener in Rawalpindi and was only able to bowl six overs, dismissing opener Shan Masood as he finished with figures of 1-5.

Rajitha was off the field for much of the fifth day as the game ended in a draw, hardly a surprise result after so much time had been lost due to bad weather.

Team manager Asantha de Mel confirmed the tourists are yet to decide who will replace the 26-year-old, though a new player may not fly out to join the squad ahead of the next Test, which starts on Thursday.

The loss of Rajitha is a further blow to Sri Lanka's fast-bowling resources, though, with Suranga Lakmal missing the tour due to dengue fever.

Abid Ali became the first player to score a hundred on both Test and one-day debut as the rain-ruined first Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka finished in a predictable draw.

Abid was one of three players to reach a century on the fifth day in Rawalpindi, Dhananjaya de Silva (102 not out) having done so for the tourists in the morning session before Sri Lanka declared their first innings on 308-6.

Pakistan lost Shan Masood for a duck at the start of their reply but opening partner Abid, along with Babar Azam, capitalised on the opportunity to spend some time in the middle knowing the result of the contest was already a formality.

The pair came together following the departure of Azhar Ali for 36, the Pakistan captain caught at short midwicket off the bowling of Lahiru Kumara to leave the score at 90-2.

However, Sri Lanka failed to make any further inroads into the home line-up before play was called off early due to bad light.

Having made 112 on his first ODI appearance for his country against Australia back in March, Abid marked his Test bow with an unbeaten 109 from 201 deliveries. His knock included 11 fours, while he happily played second fiddle in an unbroken partnership worth 162 for the third wicket.

Babar was far more expansive in his innings, delighting the home crowd in the first Test to be staged on Pakistan soil in over a decade. The elegant right-hander reached three figures with a punch through the covers for one of his 14 boundaries, reaching the landmark in what turned out to be the penultimate over of the game.

The teams will hope for better luck with the weather when they play the second and final Test in Karachi, starting on Thursday.

No play was possible on day four of the first Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka due to a wet outfield at Pindi Cricket Stadium.

Only 32 balls were bowled on Friday due to overnight rain and bad light, after just 18.2 overs of action for the same reasons on the second day.

There was further frustration on Saturday, with play called off at midday due to more bad weather in Rawalpindi.

Sri Lanka were due to resume on 282-6 in the only innings of the match so far, Dhananjaya de Silva unbeaten on 87.

The first Test in Pakistan for a decade is destined to end in a draw.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka were again frustrated by the weather as only 32 balls were bowled on day three of the first Test at Pindi Cricket Stadium.

Just 18.2 overs were possible on the second day in Rawalpindi, and a combination of a wet outfield following overnight rain and bad light left the players kicking their heels again on Friday.

Dhananjaya de Silva moved on to 87 not out in the afternoon session after a wet outfield put paid to any action before lunch, but the umpires brought the players off in the gloom with Sri Lanka 282-6.

They did not return after tea on another cold, miserable day, with Dilruwan Perera unbeaten on six and Dhananjaya unable to press on to complete a sixth Test century.

The first Test in Pakistan for a decade is almost certainly heading for a draw.

Dhananjaya de Silva was moving towards making a century for the second Test running when bad light halted play on a heavily disrupted second day as Pakistan hosted Sri Lanka.

An early rain delay and bad light before the close meant only 18.2 overs of play was possible in Rawalpindi on Thursday.

Sri Lanka used the available time to increase their first-innings total from 202-5 to 263-6, with Dhananjaya still unbeaten on 72 runs from 131 balls.

He reached his fifty in 94 deliveries and had recorded 11 boundaries when umpires declared no further play was possible.

Dhananjaya also scored a century in his last Test outing against New Zealand in August.

The only wicket of the day came when Niroshan Dickwella fell for 33 off the bowling of Shaheen Afridi.

Shaheen's involvement was a boost for Pakistan after he left the field with injury on day one, and he removed Dickwella after a good low catch by Babar Azam at gully.

Number eight Dilruwan Perera has two runs and will resume alongside Dhananjaya on day three.

This is Pakistan's first Test in their home country since the 2009 terror attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore.

A return to the England Test team for the upcoming tour of South Africa would have felt too soon, all-rounder Moeen Ali has conceded.

Moeen opted to take a break from the longest format after a chastening experience in the first Ashes Test with Australia at Edgbaston.

He scored only four runs with the bat, suffering the ignominy of twice being undone by fellow off-spinner Nathan Lyon, while taking disappointing match figures of 3-172 with the ball.

England went on to draw the five-match series, failing to regain the urn in the process, before losing a two-match series in New Zealand 1-0.

That led to talk of Moeen returning for four Tests in South Africa, but Jack Leach and Matt Parkinson were selected as the slow-bowling options in the 17-man squad.

"It just felt too soon. The past few years have been so full-on and the plan behind my break from Test cricket was to freshen up, enjoy some new environments and get my game back in good order," Moeen wrote in his column for the Guardian.

"That is something that people perhaps don't realise is hard to do when you play all three international formats and particularly so when you are an all-rounder.

"The time away has felt quite liberating. Since my international debut in 2014, the miles on the clock have probably crept up and Test cricket is the level where the pressure and scrutiny are greatest.

"Combining it all had become a bit draining and rushing back now might have seen nothing change in this regard.

"Playing 60 Tests has meant so much to me, especially picking up 181 wickets and five five-wicket hauls, which for a guy who grew up thinking as a batter first is something I never thought possible.

"My batting is where I really want to find form again, though. Five Test centuries suggests I have it in me."

Moeen, who is set to play in the Pakistan Super League for Multan Sultans, did not rule out the possibility of featuring in the tour of Sri Lanka in March next year.

He claimed 18 wickets – the same tally as left-armer Leach - in a 3-0 whitewash in England's last Test series in the country, back in November 2018.

"The back end of the PSL coincides with the Sri Lanka Test tour in March and at this stage it is a tournament I intend to see out," he added. 

"But the franchise's head coach, Andy Flower, is someone I know I can talk to, if and when the England conversation arises again. So let's see what happens."

Teenager Naseem Shah struck twice as Pakistan fought back well on a bad-light curtailed first day of Test cricket on home soil for a decade after Sri Lanka made a promising start in Rawalpindi.

Sri Lanka were 202-5 when stumps were drawn with 22.5 overs still due to be bowled, 16-year-old pace prodigy Shah taking 2-51.

The tourists lost their way after an opening stand of 96 between Dimuth Karunaratne (59) and Oshada Fernando (40) in the first match in the longest format to be played in Pakistan since a terror attack on their team bus in 2009.

Sri Lanka lost four wickets for 31 runs in the afternoon session, but Dhananjaya de Silva will start day two unbeaten on 38 with rain forecast over the next few days.

Pakistan have an injury concern over Shaheen Afridi after he was injured fielding as they attempt to make up for lost time in a long-awaited home Test series - and their former coach Mickey Arthur's first in charge of Sri Lanka.

Karunaratne's decision to bat first looked wise when he and Oshada set about laying solid foundations, although the captain had a big stroke of luck when debutant Usman Shinwari struck his off stump early on but the bails stayed on. 

Oshada took 20 balls to get off the mark, with Karunaratne playing more fluently in a wicketless opening session that yielded 89 runs, with 57 coming off the skipper's bat.

Pakistan were more disciplined after lunch and got their rewards, Afridi trapping Karunaratne lbw and Oshada edging Afridi to Haris Sohail at first slip. 

Kusal Mendis became paceman Shinwari's first Test victim and recalled former captain Dinesh Chandimal was cleaned up by a peach of a delivery from Mohammad Abbas for only two, with Pakistan on a roll.

Angelo Mathews and Dhananjaya showed resistance with a fifth-wicket stand of 62 before the former nicked Shah to Asad Shafiq at second slip attempting an extravagant drive.

Dhananjaya played responsibility and put away loose deliveries with Afridi off the field after doing damage attempting to stop a boundary and Niroshan Dickwella was 11 not out when play was called off for the day.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani is confident Australia and England will tour the country in the coming years as they prepare for a first Test on home soil since 2009.

Pakistan face Sri Lanka - the last team to visit over a decade ago - on Wednesday in Rawalpindi, the opener in a two-game series that also includes a Test in Karachi.

Mani insists Pakistan are not planning to play future series on neutral grounds, with England "very supportive" ahead of a possible tour.

"We are due to play England in 2021-22 and we are in serious discussions with them about coming to Pakistan," Mani told ESPN Cricinfo.

"So far, they've been very supportive, so I fully expect they will come and play their cricket in Pakistan. 

"Similarly, Australia, their chief executive has been to Pakistan and he's gone back with a totally different perception from what he thought it was like."

Pakistan Test captain Azhar Ali, meanwhile, has said the series opener against Sri Lanka is a huge moment for the country.

"It's a moment to rejoice, not only for the players but the whole Pakistan nation," he said, in quotes reported by Sky Sports.

"We had a tough series in Australia and the way we lost there was disappointing. Moving forward, we see this home series as an opportunity and advantage to turn things around.

"We will try our best to fix our mistakes and improve wherever we had been lacking.

"We have outstanding talent in our squad. They have potential and, if we implement it, results will be good."

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