Pakistan moved up three places to third on the ICC’s Test standings after a 2-1 series win against Sri Lanka, secured by a seven-wicket win in the third and final Test on Tuesday.
Led by an unbeaten 171 from Younis Khan, the visitors won the third Test in Pallekele, Sri Lanka, with Misbah-ul-haq hitting a six to bring up the win and finish the successful chase of 377.
It was the sixth highest successful chase in history when they surpassed the target of 377 in the post-lunch session of the fifth day’s play, finishing on 3-382.
Skipper Misbah made 59 not out, smashing the winning six off Jehan Mubarak to end his nation’s long winless streak in Sri Lanka where they had lost the last three series in 2009, 2012 and 2014.
The last time they won in Sri Lanka was in 2006.
“This is such a big victory for us,” said a delighted Misbah.
“We had lost some Tests in Sri Lanka earlier because we panicked. We just wanted to bat calmly this time.
“This series win means a lot to me after we did not fare well in the last three series in Sri Lanka.”
It was the first time a visiting team had scored more than 300 runs in the fourth innings to win a Test on Sri Lankan soil.
Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews said he expected his team to have defended the 377-run target.
“That was not a small total to get, so obviously I am very disappointed,” he said.
“I thought we were sitting pretty when we gave them 377 to win.
“It was a good game of cricket, but Pakistan played better than us and deserved to win. There may have been a bit more turn towards the end, but there was nothing in the wicket for the seamers over the last couple of days.”
Younis, who made his 100th Test appearance in the second match, ended the game just 19 runs away from surpassing Javed Miandad’s tally of 8,832 runs to become Pakistan’s leading scorer in Tests.
Leg-spinner Yasir was named man of the series for his 24 wickets in the three Tests. Younis was adjudged the man of the match.
Pakistan won the first Test in Galle by 10 wickets and Sri Lanka took the second in Colombo by seven wickets.
The two teams will play a limited-overs series of five one-day internationals, followed by two Twenty20 games, from Saturday.
ICC Test Championship table (as on 7 July 2015)
1 – South Africa – 130 points
2 – Australia – 111 points
3 – Pakistan – 101 points
4 – New Zealand – 99 points
5 – India – 97 points
6 – England – 97 points
7 – Sri Lanka – 92 points
8 – West Indies – 81 points
9 – Bangladesh – 41 points
10 – Zimbabwe – 5 points