|Player:||HMRKB Herath, KMDN Kulasekara, KC Sangakkara|
|Event:||Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2009|
DateLine: 15th July 2009
Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara hailed his players for "stepping up and taking responsibility" against Pakistan in Colombo. The hosts won inside three days by reaching their victory target of 171 with seven wickets to spare. In the process they also clinched the series with one game to go.
Like the first Test, this game also saw various ups and downs and the last day of the game marked an astonishing turnaround which Pakistan started in the ascendancy. The visitors at the start of the day looked in total control with debutant Fawad Alam and skipper Younus Khan amassing runs with ease.
But the skipper's dismissal shortly before lunch prompted an astonishing collapse with the remaining nine Pakistan wickets going down for just 35 runs. Nuwan Kulasekara finished with match figures of eight for 58 while Rangana Herath took five for 99 in Pakistan's second innings. Sangakkara hit 87 in the first innings and then compiled a vital 46 in the run chase and was delighted with the way his team responded to the fluctuating fortunes in the match.
"It's a very special win and something that all of us wanted. But we didn't expect to win in this fashion," he said.
"They have been two very absorbing Test matches with the balance swinging this way and that between the two sides.
"But I think the key for us was that whenever we needed someone to step up and take responsibility there was always someone to put his hand up.
"So this series triumph belongs to everyone in the side because everyone chipped in and performed very well.
"We've had our opportunities in the past against Pakistan, but I remember Shoaib Malik saving the game for them at the SSC a few years ago.
"This time I'm glad we took the opportunity when it came."
Sangakkara was particularly impressed with his bowlers Kulasekara and Herath.
"It was hot, the wicket wasn't offering much in either turn or pace, but the two of them really turned the tables.
"It just goes to show if you have heart and if you bend your back and put in the effort, the rewards will come."
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