Openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva struck patient half-centuries to help Sri Lanka secure a comprehensive nine-wicket victory against Pakistan in the second Test and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series on Sunday.
Paceman Suranga Lakmal grabbed the remaining three Pakistan wickets in the morning session to set his team a comfortable 137-run victory target and Karunaratne (62 not out) and Silva (58) added 124 runs for the opening stand to take them near the mark.
Karunaratne's unbeaten 125-ball knock included eight hits to the fence, while Silva struck five fours in his sedate knock which ended when he was trapped leg before by Saeed Ajmal.
Resuming on 330-7, Pakistan's slender hopes of salvaging a draw depended on a combination of their continued rearguard action and rain but none materialised at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Sarfraz Ahmed (74) could add only four runs to his overnight score before Lakmal got some reverse-swing and pushed one through his bat and pad.
The 26-year-old paceman then induced an edge from Rahat Ali and stumper Prasanna Jayawardene claimed his ninth dismissal of the match, equalling Amal Silva's Sri Lankan record.
Pakistan folded for 359 when Lakmal sent down a yorker that landed on Saeed Ajmal's (21) boot before hitting the stumps. Ajmal left the field in pain and missed the early part of the Sri Lankan chase.
"Full credit to Sri Lankans. They were more disciplined than us. Both bowling and batting. This is what we learnt. To win a Test match you need discipline as a player. They batted really well with discipline and they bowled really well with discipline," said Pakistan captain Misbah ul Haq who rued losing the toss.
"One crucial thing was toss. Especially on the first day there was lot of moisture on the pitch. That really hurt us and we could not really get back in the Test match," he added.
He blamed the batsmen for failing to apply themselves even in the second innings.
"Even in first innings there was little movement. Still I think we played some really indisciplined shots that put us in trouble. At 70 plus one at one stage, I think we should have scored more than 165 because it was happening in the first session and we survived that session. But in the second session we just lost wickets. In the second innings also I think pitch was very flat. There wasn't any turn, any help for the fast bowlers. Still we could have done better than this," said the Pakistan captain who fell three short of a century in the second innings.
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews praised the fighting spirit of the team which began by salvaging a draw in the first Test in Abu Dhabi when the chips were down.
"That's what cricket is about. You need to keep fighting and we did exactly that in the first Test.
We managed to hang in there and draw the Test match. It was a wonderful victory with the help of the whole team," said Mathews who notched his first Test win as captain overseas.
He attributed their triumph to the pace bowling trio of Lakmal, Eranga and Pradeep for keeping a tight leash on Pakistan.
"They actually set it up for us.The toss was a bit of crucial. But I thought you need to bowl in the right areas to get them out and they did exactly that. They were brilliant in the first innings as well as the second innings. Specially given the conditions, they had to put in the right spot and which they did. To get them out for 165, I thought was a tremendous effort and the batters had to get a good score to put them on the back foot, which they did," said Mathews who said it was not difficult to adjust from the shorter format to playing Tests.
"We've done pretty well in the Test matches as well. It's about adjusting yourself to the different formats. We got the experienced guys as well in the Test team which we didn't have in the one-days. We got Mahela and Rangana Herath. They strengthened the team. It was a collective performance overall and it was a great effort," he said.
He was hopeful that man of the match Mahela Jayawardene would be fit to play in the final Test.
"We all hope he will get better and better. I'm pretty sure he will play the next match as well. Fielding might be a problem but I think he can field in the outfield instead of in the slips," he said of Mahela who hit a century despite having three stitches on his left hand after splitting his webbing while fielding in the first innings.
Mathews also lauded the contribution made by the Jayawardene duo - Mahela and wicketkeeper Prasanna.
"Definitely they made a huge impact in the team. I think we know Prasanna has the best hands. Mahela showed us in this game that class is permanent and form is just temporary. They always make a huge impact in our team. They are very senior players and have lot of ideas when it comes to the game.
They are really great to have in the team," he said.
Sharjah hosts the third Test from Thursday.
Sri Lanka took a 1-0 series lead with a comprehensive nine-wicket victory against Pakistan in the second Test at Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.
Chasing a modest target of 137, Sri Lanka coasted home at tea making 137-1 in 46.2 overs after bowling out Pakistan in their second innings for 359.
Openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva paced the run-chase beautifully sharing a 124-run stand with both completing their third half century in Tests in the process.
Kaushal completed twin half centuries before falling leg before to Ajmal with 13 needed for victory.
Sangakkara hit the winning runs.
Mahela Jayawardene was adjudged man of the match for his century which turned around the match in favour of Sri Lanka.
"Full credit to Sri Lanka for their disciplined bowling and batting performance. The toss was crucial because there was moisture on the pitch. That really hurt us," said Pakistan captain Misbah ul Haq who fell three runs short of a century in the second innings.
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews was pleased with the fighting spirit of the team.
"We did that in the first Test. We managed to hang in there. This was a wonderful victory," said Mathews who won his second win as captain overseas.
"Fast bowlers set it up for us bowling right areas. They were particularly brilliant in first innings. To bowl out Pakistan for 165 was a tremendous effort," said Mathews.
He also lauded the huge contribution made by Mahela Jayawardene (129) and wicket keeper Prasanna Jayawardene who had nine victims in the match.
"They made a huge impact. Prasanna has the best hands. Mahela showed that class is permanent and form is temporary," said Mathews.
Sangakkara whacked Ajmal for a boundary to midwicket and took a single off the next as Sri Lanka coasted to a nine-wicket win on the stroke of tea.
Karunaratne was unbeatenn on 62 off 125 balls having hit eight boundaries.
Ajmal claimed one for 45.
Kaushal is trapped leg by Ajmal with Sri Lanka needing 13 to win. SL 124-1 in 40.3 overs.
Kaushal Silva lbw b Saeed Ajmal 58 (134b 5x4 0x6)
Karunaratne punches Rahat through the covers for a boundary as Sri Lanka race to victory. SL 124-0 in 40 overs.
Sri Lanka are 117 for no loss in 38 overs.
Karunaratne also completes his third Test half century off 119 balls by clipping Rahat for a couple.
Kaushal completes his third Test half century off 116 balls. SL 106-0 in 35 overs.
Karunaratne clips Hafeez to the fine leg fence to bring up the first century partnership in four innings together with Kaushal. SL 104-0 in 34 overs and require 33 to win.
Sri Lanka are 95 without loss requiring another 42 runs for victory having added 60 runs in 15 overs in the hour after lunch.
Karunaratne is on 42 off 84 balls having hit six boundaries while Kaushal is on 46 off 103 stroking five boundaries.
Kaushal steers Ajmal to the third man fence and whips him through the covers as Sri Lanka's target is less than 50. SL 89-0 in 29 overs.
Karunaratne square cuts Rahat to the point boundary. SL 80-0 in 27 overs.
Kaushal also gets into the act cracking consecutive boundaries off Junaid through the covers and pulling to square leg as Sri Lanka step up the tempo of the innings. SL 72-0 in 25 overs.
Karunaratne has had enough of the short pitched stuff from Junaid hooking to long leg and clipping the next ball to square leg for consecutive boundaries. SL 63-0 in 23 overs.
Kaushal hits the first boundary after lunch stepping out and slamming Ajmal over his head to long on. SL 47-0 in 20 overs.
Sri Lanka are not taking any risks despite the threat of rain with reports of showers in Sharjah.
Junaid opens the attack after the lunch interval overstepping with the first delivery.
Sri Lanka are 35 for no loss in 16 overs at lunch chasing a target of 137 with two sessions with Karunaratne on 18 off 36 balls having hit three boundaries and Kaushal on 14 off 60 balls hitting one boundary.
Kaushal finally breaks the shackles by stepping out and smashing Ajmal to midwicket for his first boundary. SL 35-0 in 16 overs.
Ajmal into the attack in the 12th over with Sri Lanka 23-0.
Karunaratne hits the third boundary of the innings punching Rahat straight down the ground. SL 23-0 in 11 overs.
Karunaratne hits the first boundary of the innings cutting Hafeez to third man and then slammed him through mid-on for another boundary. SL 16-0 in 7 overs.
Kaushal tucks Junaid for a single to open Sri Lanka's account. SL 1-0 in 2 overs.
The bad news for Pakistan is ace spinner Ajmal has not taken the field after being injured by the toe crusher from Lakmal.
Pakistan open with spin as Hafeez has been handed the new ball and bowls a maiden to Karunaratne.
PAKISTAN SECOND INNINGS
Sri Lanka need 137 to win the second Test and go 1-0 up in the three-match series.
Lakmal claims career best figures of four for 78 to break Pakistan's resistance on the final morning.
His brilliant spell in the morning read 6.3-1-16-3.
Pakistan added 29 runs for three wickets in 14 overs.
Lakmal picks up his third wicket of the morning yorking Ajmal with a toe-crusher to bowl out Pakistan for 359 in 137.3 overs enjoying a lead of 136 runs.
Saeed Ajmal b Lakmal 21 (51b 1x4 0x6)
Wicket keeper Jayawardene takes his fifth catch of the innings as Lakmal strikes again with Rahat edging behind. Pak 354-9 in 135.3 overs.
Rahat Ali c Prasanna Jayawardene b Lakmal 8 (24b 1x4 0x6)
Ajmal slams the first boundary of the morning pulling a short delivery from Lakmal to midwicket. Pak 353-8 in 132 overs.
Lakmal strikes in his second over of the morning knocking the off stump of Sarfraz with a peach of a delivery. Pak 334-8 n 127.4 overs.
Sarfraz Ahmed b Lakmal 74 (142b 7x4 0x6)
Sarfraz scored the first run of the fifth morning pushing Herath for a single. Pak 331-7 in 124 overs.
Pakistan resumed on 330 for seven, enjoying a lead of 107 runs, in their second innings on the final day of the second Test against Sri Lanka at Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.
Play began half an hour early amid overcast conditions and the floodlights on at the ring of fire.
A minimum of 96 overs will have to be bowled on the final day includiing the mandatory overs.