Opening batsman Imam-ul-Haq hit an unbeaten 50 to steer Pakistan home in a tricky chase of 131 against Sri Lanka and win the first Test by four wickets on Thursday.
The tourist started the final day on 48-3 and lost three more wickets, including skipper Babar Azam for 24 off Prabath Jayasuriya, before it achieved the target in the first session.
Haq started the day on 25 and remained calm with Azam and then left-handed partner Saud Shakeel, who made a brisk 30 after his unbeaten 208 in Pakistan’s first innings.
Left-arm spinner Jayasuriya took four wickets, including two on the evening of day four, to give the host a glimmer of hope, but Haq stood firm.
Azam came out roaring as he hit a boundary off the first ball of the day and looked fluent in his 28-ball stay before being trapped lbw by Jayasuriya.
Shakeel took on the bowlers as well, but offspinner Ramesh Mendis got him caught behind.
Haq reached his eighth Test fifty before falling to Jayasuriya, but Agha Salman came out to hit the winning six.
Shakeel stood out for his maiden Test double century in Pakistan’s 461 all-out and a handy first-innings lead of 149 in the rain-hit match.
Pakistan spinners Noman Ali and Abrar Ahmed made it count with three wickets each on Wednesday to help bowl out Sri Lanka for 279 despite Dhananjaya de Silva’s stubborn 82.
De Silva made 122 in Sri Lanka’s first innings of 312 after the host elected to bat first, but soon Pakistan took control.
Pakistan pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi took a match haul of five wickets on his return to Tests since a knee injury put him out of action a year ago at the same venue.
The second match of the two-Test series starts Monday in Colombo.
- IND vs NZ Live Score Updates, World Cup 2023 Semifinal: Toss, lineup updates soon; Rohit & Co look to extend winning run to 10-0
- IND vs NZ Live Toss, World Cup 2023 Semifinal: Will coin flip favour Rohit Sharma or Kane Williamson at Wankhede?
- Watch: World Cup 2023 best of the league stage - Top innings, favourite moment, winner predictions
- Rory McIlroy resigns from PGA Tour’s policy board
- NBA In-Season tournament: Pacers beats 76ers, ends Philly’s 8-game winning streak