Sri Lanka produced a professional performance yesterday to register their biggest victory over Pakistan in the second Test in Dubai, winning by nine wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Paceman Suranga Lakmal took all three wickets to fall on the fifth morning of the Test and finish with a career-best 4-78 to wrap up Pakistan’s second innings for 359, before Sri Lanka knocked off the meager 137-run target for one wicket.
Opener Dimuth Karunaratne (62 not out) hit the winning runs after putting on 124 for the first wicket with Kaushal Silva, who fell after scoring 58.
Kumar Sangakkara remained unbeaten on nine.
Pakistan’s lowest defended target was 127, which they achieved against New Zealand at Hamilton in 1993 when they dismissed their opponents for 93, but Sri Lanka ensured the good work was not lost.
Sri Lanka had previously beaten Pakistan by eight wickets on two occasions in 45 Tests.
In a surprise move, Pakistan opened the bowling with off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez, but both openers played with authority.
Silva hit five boundaries before being trapped LBW by Saeed Ajmal and Karunaratne hit eight boundaries off 125 balls.
Ajmal was once again ineffective, having now taken five wickets in two matches.
Pakistan will be desperate to level the series in the third Test starting in Sharjah, the United Arab Emirates, on Thursday to avoid a first-ever series defeat there, which has been their adopted base since 2010 due to security fears at home.