Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 3rd Test: Pak climb to third after record win
Younis Khan hit a brilliant unbeaten 171 as Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the third Test on Tuesday to win their first series on the island since 2006.
The tourists achieved the sixth highest successful chase in history when they surpassed the target of 377 runs in the post-lunch session of the fifth day's play in Pallekele, finishing on 382-3.
Skipper Misbah-ul Haq made 59 not out, smashing the winning six off Jehan Mubarak to end his nation's long winless streak in Sri Lanka where they had lost the last three series in 2009, 2012 and 2014.
"This is such a big victory for us," said a delighted Misbah as Pakistan jumped three places to number three in the official rankings behind South Africa and Australia.
"We had lost some Tests in Sri Lanka earlier because we panicked. We just wanted to bat calmly this time.
"This series win means a lot to me after we did not fare well in the last three series in Sri Lanka."
It was the first time a visiting team had scored more than 300 runs in the fourth innings to win a Test on Sri Lankan soil.
Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews said he expected his team to have defended the 377-run target.
"That was not a small total to get, so obviously I am very disappointed," he said. "I thought we were sitting pretty when we gave them 377 to win.
"It was a good game of cricket, but Pakistan played better than us and deserved to win. There may have been a bit more turn towards the end, but there was nothing in the wicket for the seamers over the last couple of days."
Mathews said the team were trying to overcome the absence of batting greats, the retired Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, who opted out of the final Test.
Sangakkara, the world's leading current Test scorer, will play two more Tests against India next month before retiring.
"We know we don't have Mahela and Sanga," said Mathews. "We will need to take on the challenge and move on."
Younis, who made his 100th Test appearance in the second match, ended the game just 19 runs away from surpassing Javed Miandad's tally of 8,832 runs to become Pakistan's leading scorer in Tests.
Pakistan added 25 runs to their overnight score when they lost the wicket of Shan Masood, who was stumped by Dinesh Chandimal off Tharindu Kaushal for 125.
The Kuwait-born left-hander's maiden Test century came during a third-wicket stand of 242 with Younis after Pakistan had been reduced to 13-2 on Monday afternoon.
Misbah said Younis had told the team a win was possible because the wicket was not providing assistance to the bowlers.
"Both Younis and Masood took the game away from Sri Lanka. And Yasir (Shah) has been so good in this series. I am glad the youngsters are doing so well for the team."
Leg-spinner Yasir was named man of the series for his 24 wickets in the three Tests. Younis was adjudged the man of the match.
The 37-year-old Younis, who came to bat after the fall of the second wicket, remained rock solid at one end during a seven-hour vigil in which he hit 18 boundaries.
Younis' five hundreds in the fourth innings - in a career tally of 30 - are the most by any batsman.
Misbah provided able support during a 127-run stand with Younis, mixing caution with aggression which fetched him eight fours and a six.
Sri Lanka missed the experience of left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, who was not selected, as young off-spinner Kaushal was hammered for 153 runs in his 31 overs.
Pakistan had won the first Test in Galle by 10 wickets and Sri Lanka took the second in Colombo by seven wickets.
The two teams will now play a limited-overs series of five one-day internationals, followed by two Twenty20 games, from Saturday.
Younis Khan remained unbeaten after a brilliant 171 as Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the final Test to win the three-match series 2-1 at Pallekele on Tuesday.
Chasing a daunting 377-run victory target, skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (57) sealed the win hitting Jehan Mubarak for a six.
Shan Masood (125) was the only wicket to fall on the final day of the pulsating Test, and the Pakistan opener was out after adding 242 runs with Younis that turned the match on its head.
Younis faced 271 balls in his marathon unbeaten knock, hitting 18 boundaries in his 11th 150-plus score, which is highest by any Pakistani batsman.
Misbah hammers Mubarak for a six as Pakistan seal a magnificent seven-victory in style and a 2-1 series win chasing a record total of 377.
Younis is in sublime form driving Kaushal through the covers for a boundary as Pakistan race towards their target.
Shan Masood fell for 125 but Younis Khan continued from where he left off on Monday as Pakistan reached lunch on 321 for three, needing 56 more runs on the final day to clinch the final Test and the three-match series on Tuesday.
Off-spinner Tharindu Kaushal drew Masood out of his crease with flight and beat him with turn to have him stumped but not before the opener had added 242 runs with Younus to turn the match on its head.
Younis was unbeaten on 142 with skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (27) at the other end with the visitors closing in on a remarkable win, having slumped to 13-2 on Monday in their pursuit for a 377-run victory target.
Masood, then on 120, survived a strong caught-behind appeal with bowler Angelo Mathews and wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal convinced he had edged it.
Umpire Ian Gould, however, felt otherwise and Sri Lanka moved on having exhausted both of their review opportunities.
Even after Masood departed, Younis played with characteristic fluency, hitting 13 boundaries in his unbeaten 237-ball knock.
Sri Lanka have taken the second new ball with Pakistan 276-3, 80 overs, requiring another 101 to win.
Misbah gives Kaushal the charge and clubs the spinner over mind-on. Pak 271-3, 78 overs.
Off spinner Kaushal has struck in his first over breaking the record partnership as Masood wanders out and is beaten by the spin. Pak 255-3, 73.4 overs.
Shan Masood st Chandimal b Kaushal 125 (233b 11x4 1x6)
Younis Khan hits the first boundary of the day steering Pradeep off an outside edge to third man as Pakistan keep chipping away at the target. Pak 253-2, 73 overs.
Shan Masood and Younis Khan compiled unbeaten centuries to keep Pakistan in the hunt for a landmark victory in the series-deciding third and final Test against Sri Lanka on Monday.
Set a challenging target of 377 runs, the tourists recoverd from a shaky 13-2 to move to 230 without further loss by stumps on the rain-free fourth day in Pallekele.
Masood, the five-Test old left-hander, was unbeaten on 114, having reached his maiden century by lofting off-spinner Tharindu Kaushal for a six over long-on towards the end of play.
Younis, who made his 100th Test appearance in the second match of the series, got to his 30th century in the day's last over. The pair have put on 217 so far for the third wicket with Younis on 101.
Pakistan will enter the final day's play on Tuesday needing a further 147 runs with eight wickets in hand on a wearing, but easy-paced pitch at the Pallekele International Stadium.
If Pakistan win, it will be the first time a visiting team will have scored more than 300 runs in the fourth innings to win a Test on Sri Lankan soil.
Pakistan's highest successful chase is 314 runs they made against Australia to win the Karachi Test way back in 1994.
Follow Emirates 24|7 on Google News.