At Colombo (SSC), August 14-18, 2014. Sri Lanka won by 105 runs. Toss: Sri Lanka.
Herath took 14 more wickets as Sri Lanka closed out the series 2-0, a fine farewell for Mahela Jayawardene after 149 Tests. "The boys turned up to win these two Tests for Mahela," said Mathews. "The amount of work he has done in the past 17 years is unbelievable." The crowds turned up too: Jayawardene walked out to a standing ovation and, as the Pakistan players formed a guard of honour, firecrackers exploded around the ground. He was trapped in front by Saeed Ajmal early in his first innings, but pleased the locals with a studied 54 - lasting 192 minutes - as Sri Lanka consolidated their position in the second.
They had made two changes, with Thirimanne replacing Kithuruwan Vithanage, and Welagedara returning after nearly two years - his last had been the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne in 2012 - for Shaminda Eranga, who had a hip injury. Pakistan recalled Wahab Riaz in place of Mohammad Talha. Pakistan's bowlers did well to restrict Sri Lanka on the first day, as a normally attacking line-up pottered along. Tharanga looked set for his second Test hundred - more than eight years after his first - before flicking Riaz to short leg, where Azhar Ali clasped the ball after it stuck in his midriff. The tail wagged a little, but Junaid Khan finished with his fifth Test five-for - all against Sri Lanka.
When Pakistan batted, Herath stole the show. Only Ahmed Shehzad, who played soundly for 58, escaped his clutches as he became the first left-armer to take nine wickets in a Test innings. It was 140 for five when Misbah-ul-Haq failed again, but Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed rescued Pakistan with a stand of 93, then Sarfraz motored to an impressive maiden Test century. Herath captured them both in the end, limiting the lead to 12 and finishing with figures bettered for Sri Lanka only by Muttiah Muralitharan (twice).
Now their batsmen threatened to pull away as the old firm of Sangakkara and Jayawardene shared one final century partnership, their 19th. However, Ajmal nabbed them both, in successive overs, and the last five wickets fell for 35. Pakistan were hampered by the absence of Junaid - groggy after being smacked on the head by Prasad while batting - but produced a disciplined bowling performance which left them needing 271.
They never got close, after none of the first five made more than ten. Shafiq and Sarfraz cheered them up with another brave stand, but the writing was on the wall when Herath - on the way to match figures of 14 for 184 - dipped one past the advancing Shafiq, and Dickwella completed the stumping. By the end of the fourth day seven wickets had gone (with Junaid unlikely to bat); it was all over in an hour next morning, when Sarfraz passed 50 for the fourth time out of four.
In all, 29 wickets fell to left-arm bowlers - breaking the 125-year-old Test record of 28, set in the match between South Africa and England at Cape Town in 1888-89. England's spinner Johnny Briggs took eight for 11 in the second innings of that game, the previous best Test figures by a left-armer.
All thoughts now turned to the departing hero. After a quick trip to Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa's box - and a brief chat with his own parents - Jayawardene was chaired round the ground on his team-mates' shoulders. "I've stitched up this cap and managed to wear it for a long time," he said. "It's not easy to let it go."
Man of the Match: H. M. R. K. B. Herath. Man of the Series: H. M. R. K. B. Herath.