But Sri Lanka got the better of their Asian rivals when Pakistan traveled to the island nation in 2009 (2-0), 2012 (1-0) and 2014 (2-0). On this day, three years ago, Pakistan finally managed to break that trend and recorded a thrilling 2-1 series win, courtesy of their historic win (Pakistan's record run chase in Tests) in the third and last Test in Kandy.
"This is such a big victory for us. We had lost some Tests in Sri Lanka earlier because we panicked. We just wanted to bat calmly this time," then-skipper Misbah-Ul-Haq was quoted as saying following the victory.
"This series win means a lot to me after we did not fare well in the last three series in Sri Lanka," he added.
Batting first, Sri Lanka were restricted to a fighting score of 278 in the first innings, courtesy of some disciplined bowling by the visiting team. Dimuth Karunaratne struck a majestic ton (130), but none of the other batsmen got going as the second-highest score of his teammate was that of Upul Tharanga, who scored 46.
Spinner Yasir Shah was the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan as he ended with splendid figures of 5/78. Rahat Ali and Azhar Ali provided able support to the spinner as they picked up three and two wickets respectively in the first essay.
Pakistan too couldn't put on a big score in their first innings, as the were dismissed for just 215, conceding a lead of 63. Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan Pradeep and Tharindu Kaushal scalped three wickets each to help the hosts take a first innings lead in the low-scoring match.
Angelo Mathews' batting came to the fore in the second innings as he smashed 122 to help the hosts cross the 300-run barrier. Dinesh Chandiman (67) and Lahiru Thirimanne (48) chipped in with the bat as well as Pakistan needed 377 to win the match and also the series in the process.
Following Ahmed Shahzad and Azhar Ali's early dismissals, Shan Masood played the innings of his life and scripted a brilliant partnership with middle-order maestro Younis Khan. Both stuck their respective tons to take Pakistan closer to the target.
Masood fell for 125 but Younis (171*) kept going and stitched together a match-winning stand with Misbah (59*) to help Pakistan chase down their record score in Tests.
From The ArchivesKandy Test 2015Pakistan cricket teamPakistan's Biggest Test Winsri lanka cricket teamYasir Shahyounis khan
First Published: July 7, 2018, 2:35 PM IST