Pakistan bounced back to beat Sri Lanka by 21 runs in the third day-night one-day international against Pakistan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday.
Chasing a target of 258, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 236 in the 49th over despite a century partnership between skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara.
Pakistan were restricted to 257 for eight as Sri Lanka clawed their way back despite a record opening stand of 151 at the Dubai stadium between Muhammad Hafeez and Imran Farhat.
But it turned out to be enough in the end as Pakistan won a thrilling match with seven balls to spare to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
Dilshan and Sangakkara lifted Sri Lanka with a 106-run partnership for the second wicket after the early loss of opener Upul Tharanga.
But Sri Lanka capitulated to the guiles of spin trio Shahid Afridi, Muhammad Hafeez and Saeed Ajmal once again after appearing to be on track.
The trio shared six wickets between them with Off spinner Ajmal returning best figures of three for 42.
Umar Gul mopped up the tail claiming three for 48 and also sent Tharanga back in the first over when Sri Lanka began their run chase.
Tharanga cracked the second ball of the innings from Gul to the point boundary. But the left hander saw his stumps being rattled after playing inside the line of a delivery for Sri Lanka to be five for one.
Dilshan and Kumar batted steadily to blunt the Pakistan attack. Dilshan cracked successive boundaries off Abdul Razzaq to bring up their 50-run partnership for the second wicket.
Both survived run out attempts after nearly ending up at the same end in the 19th over with the total on 89 for one.
Dilshan survived a throw from Shahid Afridi after turning back Sangakkara who was charging down the track. Sangakkara managed to scramble back to non-striker's end with Wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed's throw ricochetting off Sangakkara. The resultant overthrow reached the boundary giving Sri Lanka five runs.
But Afridi was on target with a direct hit to run out Sangakkara who was stranded after Dilshan failed to respond to his call for a single to end their 106-run second wicket stand.
Sangakkara who made 45 off 65 with three boundaries was clearly infuriated by his dismissal.
Sri Lanka suffered a further setback when Dilshan figured in a freak dismissal. Attempting to sweep Afridi, the ball appeared to be trickling towards the stumps after glancing off his glove. Dilshan in desperation tried to swat it away only to direct it onto the stumps.
Dilshan's knock of 64 off 78 balls contained eight boundaries.
Mahela Jayawardena became the ninth player to pass the 10,000-run mark in one-day internationals in the 32nd over of the innings. Jayawardena, the second Sri Lankan after Sanath Jayasuriya to join this elite band, reached the landmark after scoring 13 with a single after having a jabbed the previous delivery from Abdul Razzaq to the third man fence.
Jayawardena departed to a contentious stumping decision given by TV umpire Richard Illingworth after much deliberation. Off spinner Saeed Ajmal induced him and wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed whipped the bails off even as Jayawardena dragged his feet back. Despite the camera being zoomed to see whether Jayawardena's back foot was off the ground, the TV replays were not conclusive but the umpire did not give the benefit of the doubt to the batsman.
Sri Lanka also failed to profit from the bating powerplay scoring just 19 runs for the loss of two wickets. Angelo Mathews took some liberties to hit a four and a six off Tanvir in the 39th over.
Dinesh Chandimal played some exquisite shots on the off but was deceived by a doosra from Ajmal attempting to play him inside out only to caught by substitute Shoaib Malik.
Sri Lanka stumbled to 186 for six as Lasith Malinga went for a duck trapped leg before by Afridi being unsucessful with the decision referral.
Left hander Jeevan Mendis was unfortunate to be adjudged leg before off Hafeez with TV replays showing the ball had hit glanced off the bat as he set off for a single. He made 19 off 15 balls with the help of two boundaries adding 32 runs for the seventh wicket with Mathews.
Sri Lanka required 39 off 30 balls when Thisara Perera walked in but he did not last long being bowled by a top spinner from Ajmal.
Needing 34 off 24, Sekkuge Prasanna managed to get a boundary off Tanvir but Sri Lanka still required 24 off the last two overs.
It became 235 for nine when Prasanna holed out to Afridi at midwicket off Gul who bowled last man Dilhara Fernando three balls later.
Hafeez (83) and Farhat (70) gave Pakistan a solid start after skipper Misbah ul Haq won the toss for the first time in the series and elected to bat first.
The duo posted their century partnership in just 120 balls as they flayed the Sri Lankan bowling attack.
But Pakistan lost their way in the middle of the innings after the opening stand was broken losing five wickets for 42 runs including during their batting powerplay overs.
Afridi also failed to fire in the last 10 overs perishing when he was just about to raise the tempo of the innings in the 46th over.
Former skipper Younis Khan held the innings together to maintain some sort of momentum making 42 off 52 balls before being dismissed in the last over.
Leg spinner Prasanna returned the best figures of two for 39 while Malinga claimed two for 57. Dilhara Fernando was expensive once again going wicketless for 59 in his 10 overs.
Hafeez raced to his 12th one-day half century by clobbering 18 runs off one over from Fernando which included three consecutive boundaries in the 18th over.
Having been let off on seven with the total on 19 with Thisara Perera failing to hold on to sharp caught and bowled chance, Hafeez opened his shoulders after a cautious start.
His partner Farhat cracked two consecutive boundaries off Perera but was shaken by a nasty delivery by Dilhara Fernando which struck on his visor.
Farhat completed his 10th half century off 60 balls. It contained five boundaries.
The pair went on the offensive with Farhat smashing Tillakaratne Dilshan over long on for a massive six which landed on the second tier in the 27th over while Hafeez also swept spinner Jeevan Mendis over the midwicket fence in the next over.
Their dominant partnership came to an end when Hafeez was bowled by leg spinner Seekkuge Prasanna attempting to cart him out of the ground which ended their 151-run alliance. Hafeez's knock of 83 off 101 balls contained nine boundaries and a six.
Farhat fell to a superb catch in the long on boundary by Mahela Jayawardena off Dilshan after making 70 off 82 balls. His knock contained six boundaries and a six.
Abdul Razzaq promoted in the order at the fall of the first wicket, did not last long holing out to Thisara Perera after failing to clear the long on boundary.
Sri Lanka made inroads when Pakistan took the batting powerplay which yielded just 22 runs for the loss of two wickets.
Pakistan slipped to 177 for four when Umar Akmal attempted to flick Lasith Malinga only to see his leg stump missing, having pulled the pacer to the ropes in the previous delivery.
Skipper Misbah ul Haq virtually gifted his wicket away after finding his partner Younus Khan tearing down the pitch for a non-existent single with bowler Malinga winning the race to the non-striker's end to remove the bails.
Shahid Afridi was pegged back by the pace of Malinga and perished attempting to take on Perera.
Having cracked Perera to the cover fence in the last ball of the previous over, Afridi's attempt to hoist him out of the ground resulted in Angelo Mathews at long comfortably pocketing the massive skier.
It became 234 for seven at the end of the 47th over when Sarfraz Ahmed dragged a Malinga snorter onto his stumps.
Younis Khan maintained some momentum in the innings with 42 off 52 balls before being ironically run out by brilliant throw from Prassanna in the last over. Khan had three hits to the ropes.
Tailender Sohail Tanveer had a couple of lusty hits to the boundary to boost their total.
Muhammad Hafeez b Prasanna 83
Imran Farhat c Jayawardene b Dilshan 70
Abdul Razzaq c Perera b Prasanna 6
Younus Khan run out 42
Umar Akmal b Malinga 7
Misbah-ul-Haq run out 7
Shahid Afridi c Mathews b Perera 15
Sarfraz Ahmed b Malinga 3
Sohail Tanvir not out 10
Umar Gul not out 0
Extras (lb-4, w-9, nb-1) 14
Total (eight wickets; 50 overs) 257
Fall of wickets: 1-151 2-161 3-167 4-177 5-193 6-226 7-234 8-256
Did not bat: Saeed Ajmal
Bowling: Malinga 10-0-57-2 (1nb, 1w) Perera 10-1-45-1 (1w), Fernando 10-1-59-0 (3w), Dilshan 8-0-38-1, Prasanna 9-0-39-2, Mendis 3-0-15-0.
Sri Lanka innings
U. Tharanga b Umar Gul 4
T. Dilshan b Shahid Afridi 64
K. Sangakkara run out 45
L. Chandimal c sub b Ajmal 31
M. Jayawardene st Ahmed b Ajmal 17
A. Mathews not out 32
L. Malinga lbw b Afridi 0
J. Mendis lbw Hafeez 19
T. Perera b Ajmal 4
S. Prasanna c Afridi b Gul 5
D. Fernando b Gul 0
Extras (lb-5, w-10) 15
Total (All out; 48.5 overs) 236
Fall of wickets: 1-5 2-111 3-133 4-168 5-186 6-186 7-218 8-224 9-235
Bowling: Umar Gul 8.5-0-48-3 (4w), Tanvir 9-0-52-0(2w), Razzaq 4-0-18-0, Hafeez 7-0-29-1, Afridi 10-0-42-2, Ajmal 10-0-42-3(4w).
Pakistan lead the five-match series 2-1