Sri Lanka win series after Pak cave in

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka clinched their first home series against Pakistan after the temperamental tourists suffered a spectacular collapse in the second Test here on Tuesday.

Pakistan, sitting pretty at 285-1 just before lunch on the third day, crashed to 320 all out after the break to leave Sri Lanka a victory target of 171 for a decisive 2-0 lead in the three-match series. Sri Lanka cruised home by seven wickets with two days to spare, with skipper Kumar Sangakkara leading the way with a fluent 46 after opener Malinda Warnapura made 54.

Of the previous five series between the two nations on Sri Lankan soil, Pakistan had won three and drawn two, but the tourists had only themselves to blame for allowing the hosts to re-write history.

Pakistan’s meek surrender against the second new ball came after debutant opener Fawad Alam hit a superb 168 and shared a record stand of 200 for the second wicket with skipper Younus Khan (82). The partnership was Pakistan’s highest for the second wicket against Sri Lanka, surpassing the 151 by Mohsin Khan and Majid Khan in 1982.

But Pakistan lost their last nine wickets for 35 runs, their third successive collapse in the series. Pakistan had seen eight wickets fall for 46 on the fourth day of the Galle Test when just 97 more were needed to win. The tourists then crumbled for 90 on the first day of this Test. Left-arm slow bowler Rangana Herath claimed 5-99 and seamer Nuwan Kulasekera took 4-37. The third and final Test starts at the Sinhalese sports club on July 20.