Pakistan highlighted their talent on the pitch to draw the third and final Test against Sri Lanka and win the series 1-0 on Monday just days after three former teammates were jailed for spot-fixing.
Having been set a target of 255 runs for victory on the rain-hit fifth day, Pakistan opted for safety and were led largely by Taufeeq Umar’s watchful 39 from 121 balls to finish on 87 for four from 57 overs.
Captain Misbah-ul-Haq was unbeaten at the end on nine, the innings typical of his team's dogged approach on an uneventful last day as he batted for nearly 100 minutes and face 86 balls.
Pakistan, who won the second match of the series by nine wickets after the drawn first Test, were playing “home” Tests in the United Arab Emirates due to security concerns in their own country.
A breather after controversy
The series win follows former captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir being handed jail sentences in London last week for their role in a gambling-inspired plot to bowl deliberate no-balls against England last year.
However, the victory and the fine performances of spinner Saeed Ajmal, which made him joint player of the series with Sri Lanka batsman
Kumar Sangakkara, will give Pakistani cricket supporters some cheer.
After the first session was washed out on Monday, a Sri Lanka win to force a series draw became even more unlikely. Resuming on their overnight 164 for five, Sri Lanka batted 4.2 overs to declare their second innings on 181 for six wickets with opener Tharanga Paranavitana (76) and Rangana Herath (one) unbeaten at the crease.
Pakistan wobbled early on, losing Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali to be 30 for two before first innings centurion Younis Khan was dismissed during the 29 overs they faced until tea.
Taufeeq carved the ball to Sangakkara at backward point off Randiv, briefly raising Sri Lanka’s hopes of an unlikely win, though Asad Shafiq (seven) repelled the depleted attack alongside Misbah until bad light forced the close.
Sri Lanka lost paceman Dhammika Prasad for the rest of the game with a thigh strain early in the match and the remaining bowlers never really threatened Pakistan.