Sri Lanka took no risks with a winning target of 261 against Pakistan by settling for a draw in the second Test at Sinhalese Sports Club on Wednesday.
Sri Lanka held onto their 1-0 series lead, with the third Test starting on Sunday in Pallekele.
Pakistan declared their second innings an over after tea on 100-2, offering Sri Lanka just 37 overs to win. The home side took their time and reached 86-2 when the captains decided to call off the match with 15 overs remaining.
“We were trying to figure out whether we could chase it down with the number of overs but then we decided it was almost six an over and wasn’t worth the challenge,” Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene said.
“We figured that those last two sessions were (them) trying to get a psychological advantage going into the third Test.”
Return to form
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq was pleased that his top order returned to form. When Pakistan lost the first Test in Galle by 209 runs they had been bowled out for a paltry 100 in the first innings. At SSC, meanwhile, Mohammad Hafeez slammed 196 and Azhar Ali scored 157.
“I am very happy with top order. The top order had played a major role in our victories in our last year and half,” Misbah said.
“They have given us some good starts. We were struggling to get that in the last few Test matches. I am happy with the way they batted in this Test match. When the top order is firing there is a chance of doing well in Test matches.”
Pakistan scored 551-6 declared and 100-2 declared, and Sri Lanka 391 and 86-2 on a placid pitch.
The Test was heavily affected by rain with four sessions lost.
The fifth and final day began with Sri Lanka resuming their first innings on 278-5, still requiring 74 to avoid the follow on.
Vice-captain Angelo Mathews and overnight batsman Kumar Sangakkara batted through the morning session adding 92 for the sixth wicket and reaching lunch on 367-5. Then Junaid Khan and Abdur Rehman teamed to pick up five wickets for 21 runs as Sri Lanka slumped to 391 all out.
Sangakkara missed out on a double hundred for a second successive game when he fell to the left-arm spin of Rehman shortly after lunch. Sangakkara batted serenely and on 192 attempted to work the ball on the leg side but got a leading edge and was caught at short square leg.
Sangakkara faced 351 deliveries and hit 15 fours and a six for his 192. The left-hander also missed out on a double hundred in the first Test in Galle when he was left stranded on 199 as he ran out of partners.
Pakistan went for quick runs in their 18-over second innings but the target they left for Sri Lanka was improbable.
Sri Lanka lost openers Tillakaratne Dilshan (28) and Tharanga Paranavitana (32) in its second innings and was 86-2 when the captains shook hands.
Sangakkara was unbeaten on 24 and Mahela Jayawardene was 1 not out.