Saeed Ajmal took five wickets as another disappointing batting performance saw Sri Lanka slip to a nine-wicket defeat against Pakistan in the second Test in Dubai.
Tharanga Paranavitana (72) and Angelo Mathews (52 not out) both scored half centuries in a tortuous Sri Lanka second innings, which saw them dismissed for 257 in nearly 110 overs with Ajmal claiming five for 68.
That left Pakistan needing 94 for victory and they put their foot down - in a manner Sri Lanka had conspicuously failed to match – to win with a day to spare thanks to a speedy unbeaten 59 from Mohammad Hafeez.
Pakistan continued to work their way through Sri Lanka on the fourth afternoon of the second Test at the Dubai International Cricket stadium. Two wickets, added to the three this morning, meant that at 218 for six, a lead of just 54, they were favourites to take the lead in the three-Test series.
Sri Lanka looked more alert in the second session, though that wasn't difficult given they'd scored only 37 runs in the morning. The push came from Angelo Mathews, his intentions clear as soon as he mistimed a drive through midwicket that went for four anyway.
Alongside Tharanga Paranavitana, he kept the score ticking over at least, eating into Pakistan's lead. Paranavitana fell to Saeed Ajmal for a patient 72 but Mathews carried on, lofting Abdur Rehman for a six over long-on just before drinks
The second new ball livened up proceedings further. Kaushal Silva came at Pakistan, pulling Junaid Khan for four to take Sri Lanka into the lead. But he fell immediately after, pulling again, but only managing to mistime to mid-on.
Dhammika Prasad proved a sturdier and flashier accomplice, merrily swinging his bat at Umar Gul and Junaid all the while adding useful runs with Mathews. A rash of boundaries meant that by tea the pair had put on 52, and at good pace.
Pakistan tightened the screws around Sri Lanka on the fourth morning of the second Test at Dubai International Cricket stadium, a compelling session leaving the tourists hanging on at 125 for four.
Sri Lanka began nervous and unsure of how to approach the morning, a side fully aware of a winless 12-Test streak. They allowed themselves into the shell Pakistan were happily pushing them into; the day began with two swift, hurried maidens and the tenor was set.
Success came as early as the fourth over, Kumar Sangakkara adjudged leg-before off Abdur Rehman playing no shot. Replays showed a decision that could have gone either way but in the dressing room, Tillakaratne Dilshan, the Sri Lanka captain, did little to hide his disgust at Tony Hill's decision.
Given Sangakkara's form, it was the morning's key wicket and nudged the door open a little. After drinks, Pakistan shoved it further ajar, Saeed Ajmal dismissing an out-of-sorts Mahela Jayawardene and Junaid Khan beginning an outstanding spell of reverse swing by trapping the equally out of form Dilshan one over later. Junaid was unlucky not to have Angelo Mathews an over later as well as he padded up to a big in-dipper.
All the while, at the other end stood Tharanga Paranavitana, a lone, quiet note of dissent. As he had done yesterday, he defended stoutly, so much so that Sri Lanka scored only 37 runs in the entire session and 13 in the hour after drinks.
The over before Sangakkara fell, Paranavitana reached a ninth Test fifty with an edge through third man. The shot captured the nature of the innings and though Junaid troubled both him and Mathews, they somehow managed to hold on.