Pakistan completed a 2-0 series sweep against Sri Lanka after left-arm spinner Noman Ali bowled the visitors to a comprehensive victory by an innings and 222 runs in the second and final Test on Thursday.
Having conceded a lead of 410, Sri Lanka’s defeat was only a matter of time and Noman spun a web around the batsmen at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground to claim a career-best 7/70 as Pakistan romped home inside four days.
Angelo Mathews remained unbeaten on 63, but Sri Lanka were bundled out for 188 in the second. The hosts had managed only 166 in the first innings.
While Noman was the wrecker-in-chief with his guile and accuracy, pacer Naseem Shah claimed the remaining three wickets to secure Pakistan’s biggest Test win in Sri Lanka.
“Very proud to win this series and all credit to the guys and the support staff for working so hard in the last three to four months,” Pakistan captain Babar Azam said. “The way our bowlers bowled here, it was good because there wasn’t much for them.”
Earlier, Pakistan batted just two overs on Day IV, allowing Mohammad Rizwan to complete his half-century before declaring at 576/5. Agha Salman, who was adjudged Player of the Series, remained unbeaten on 132.
Pakistan opener Abdullah Shafique bagged the Player-of-the-Match award for his career-best 201 that laid the foundation for Pakistan’s mammoth total.
Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne, on the other hand, said their batting let them down.
“Just a 160 is not enough on this wicket,” he admitted. “A lot of our batsmen threw their wickets away. That was the turning point.”
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 166 & 188 (A. Mathews 63 n.o.; N. Ali 7/70). Pakistan 576/5 decl. Pakistan won by an innings & 222 runs.