Match Report:


Jayasuriya, Mendis spin Sri Lanka to series-levelling win

Left-arm spinner Prabath Jayasuriya claimed his fourth five-wicket haul in just his third Test as he and Ramesh Mendis snuffed out any chance of Pakistan holding on for a draw

Spinners Prabath Jayasuriya and Ramesh Mendis snared nine wickets between them as they bowled Sri Lanka to series-levelling victory on the final day of their two-Test series against Pakistan.

The visitors crumbled to 261 all out after lunch on the fifth day of the second Test in Galle, with Sri Lanka's 246-run win moving them above India, Pakistan and the West Indies in ICC World Test Championship standings.

It was the fourth five-wicket haul in only his third Test for left-arm spinner Jayasuriya (5-117), who picked up 12 wickets against Australia on his debut last month to lead Sri Lanka to another series-levelling win at the same venue.

The 30-year-old has accumulated 29 wickets in just six Test innings, which has him level with Australian fast bowler Charlie Turner as the second most prolific bowler after three Tests and behind Indian leg-spinner Narendra Hirwani with 31.

Off-spinner Mendis (4-101), who took five wickets in Pakistan's first innings, provided able support by picking up another four as the touring side were unable to find consistent partnerships in their second innings.

"I worked hard and I was patient," said Jayasuriya, who was named player-of-the-series for his haul of 17 wickets from two matches.

Image Id: 3835BE0F88F442D3B2895EB51F369694 Image Caption: The two-match series was shared at 1-1 // AFP

"It wasn't an easy pitch to bowl, but we did well to bowl in partnerships and that led to wickets."

Set a record target of 508, Pakistan, who won the opening Test at the same venue by four wickets, got off to a bad start in their bid to save the match when Imam-ul-Haq fell on 49 to Mendis in the third over of the day after they had resumed on 1-89.

But captain Babar Azam, who top-scored for Pakistan with a resolute knock of 81, and Mohammad Rizwan boosted their chances of a draw with a third-wicket stand of 79.

Jayasuriya then turned the match in Sri Lanka's favour when he cleaned up Rizwan, who misjudged a straight delivery and was bowled not playing a shot for 37, to trigger a collapse.

Image Id: A87FB4A205D9475C801123F6895BEE22 Image Caption: Kusal Mendis takes a stunning short leg catch to dismiss of Pakistan's Agha Salman on the final day // AFP

Fawad Alam was run out soon after following a miscommunication with Babar while Agha Salman fell to a stunning catch at short leg by Kusal Mendis off Jayasuriya's bowling.

From 2-176, the touring side were reduced to 7-205 after the lunch interval when Babar and Mohammad Nawaz were out in quick succession leaving Sri Lanka's spinners to mop up the Pakistan batting tail.

"Definitely tough game for us. Batting wasn't up to the mark," said Babar.

The loss resulted in Pakistan slipping from third to fifth in the World Test Championship standings with a win percentage of 51.85, while Sri Lanka jumped from sixth to third with a win percentage of 53.33.

South Africa (71.43 per cent) and Australia (70 per cent) are well out in front and India remains fourth with a win percentage of 52.08.