Abdullah Shafique scored an unbeaten 160 as Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka in the opening Test match of the series by four wickets at Galle on Wednesday.
In the final play session of day five, Shafique scored the winning runs to give his team a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
Prabath Jayasuriya, a left-arm spinner, claimed nine wickets in the game, but Pakistan outperformed Sri Lanka’s previous record chase of 268 against New Zealand in Galle in 2019.
Shafique, 22, impressed with his second Test century. He formed significant partnerships, such as a 101-run third-wicket stand with captain Babar Azam, who scored 55 after scoring 119 in the first innings on a challenging pitch.
After a brief weather delay stopped their charge, Shafique eventually teamed up with Mohammad Nawaz, who was still undefeated, to send the guests home. Before returning for the third round of play, the teams enjoyed early tea.
Shafique overcame three dropped catches at the crucial junctures of 70, 135 and 151 while playing the anchor role flawlessly and surpassing his previous Test record of 136 not out.
After Jayasuriya struck at the start of lunch to dismiss rookie Salman Ali Agha for 12, who had sent back talisman Azam before the end of day four, Pakistan experienced a brief period of unease.
After being moved up the order to bat out the last few runs, Hasan Ali was bowled out for five in the second over of the second session.
Jayasuriya kept up the pressure, but Shafique resisted. Jayasuriya grabbed 12 wickets on his debut in a series-leveling Test victory over Australia last week at the same location, six in each innings.
As soon as Sri Lanka used up their final two umpire reviews, which both featured Jayasuriya, Pakistan started the day on 222-3.
Mohammad Rizwan began the day with a boundary off Ramesh Mendis and maintained his optimism by taking singles and twos before being bowled out for 40 by Jayasuriya.
Rizwan, a wicketkeeper-batsman who entered the two-match series following a successful stay with English county Sussex, was not saved by a review.
When Sri Lanka’s second inning total of 337 was reached, Dinesh Chandimal continued his dazzling form by scoring an undefeated 94, his second consecutive half-century, before running out of partners.
Azam scored a resolute century in Pakistan’s first innings in a match of dramatic comebacks, and then calmly batted with the lower order after the visitors fell to 85-7 on day two.
Due to the political upheaval in Sri Lanka, the second Test was moved from Colombo and will begin on Sunday in Galle as well.