It has been a long haul, says emotional Vaas

Adios Sri Lanka pacer Chaminda Vaas acknowledges the crowd after playing his final Test on Friday. AP

It was a befitting end to an illustrious career as Sri Lanka, their back against the wall, eked out a draw against the exasperating Pakistanis to win the three-match Test series 2-0.

Vaas did not have much success with the ball in his final Test, managing just the wicket of Khurram Manzoor in Pakistan’s first innings and going wicketless in their second essay.

“It has been a long haul and I always had the backing of my friends and family,” an emotional Vaas said after the match. “It’s an emotional moment for me,” he added.

His kids, wife and parents were present on the occasion as Vaas drew curtains on his Test career. After making his Test debut against Pakistan at Kandy in 1994, the Mattumagala-born pacer has played 111 Tests, claiming 355 wickets at 29.58 with 12 five-wicket hauls in it. He has also made 3089 Test runs at 24.32, including a century against Bangladesh.

In the 322 ODIs he has played, Vaas has taken 400 wickets at 27.53, besides scoring 2025 runs. He has also played six Twenty20 Internationals.

Country’s most successful bowler after Muttiah Muralitharan, Vaas’s natural ability to swing and seam the ball and his grasp of reverse-swing also made him a lethal bowler. Vaas took the first ODI eight-for against Zimbabwe, which included a hat-trick and he had another hat-trick in Sri Lanka’s 2003 World Cup match against Bangladesh.

Earlier this month, chief selector Asantha de Mel revealed that Vaas had made up his mind to quit the longer version. Vaas, however, went on to deny it.

After being ignored for the first two Tests against Pakistan, the 35-year-old pacer was recalled in the Sri Lanka squad for the third and final match.

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