At Pallekele, July 3-7, 2015. Pakistan won by seven wickets. Toss: Pakistan.
The odds were resolutely against Pakistan when they started their chase of 377 to snatch the series. They had never made so many to win a Test - only five higher targets had ever been reached - and were soon 13 for two. But, with Younis Khan buckling down for a superb unbeaten 171, they skated home, losing only one more wicket.

The ease of Pakistan's eventual victory belied the manner in which batsmen had struggled on a demanding deck. Seeing live grass on the first day, both sides included three seamers, with Sri Lanka contentiously dropping Rangana Herath, the cornerstone of their attack since the retirement of Muttiah Muralitharan in 2010. Dushmantha Chameera

was also missing, after picking up a side strain during his impressive debut in Colombo. Misbah-ul-Haq opted to bowl first, and was rewarded with the wicket of the in-form Silva. But Pakistan were held up by Karunaratne, who left judiciously and put away the bad ball. He added 91 for the second wicket with Tharanga - given the unenviable task of replacing Kumar Sangakkara at No. 3 - but it turned out to be the most substantial partnership of the innings.

Once again, Yasir Shah was the destroyer: after removing Tharanga, he dismissed Thirimanne and Mathews (both driving uppishly to the substitute, Babar Azam) as Sri Lanka declined to 137 for four. Karunaratne held firm for his second Test century, but the rest made only minor contributions, none more than 25 from Mubarak, recalled for his 11th Test at 34, after seven years out of the side.

Pakistan were batting early on the second morning, but they were also undone by swing and seam under still-heavy skies, and were soon 45 for three. Pradeep Fernando contributed several probing spells, finishing with three for 29, but Sarfraz Ahmed made a forthright unbeaten 78. He and Azhar Ali were the only batsmen to survive for more than an hour, and a total of 215 looked insufficient. Wahab Riaz's replacement, Imran Khan - on strike for the first time, in his fifth Test - made an eight-ball duck.

Sri Lanka led by 63, but again started poorly, slipping to 80 for four before being rescued by Mathews' fifth Test century. He added 81 with Mubarak, then 117 with the lively Chandimal, apparently putting his side firmly in charge. At last, Sri Lanka seemed to have worked out how to counter Yasir, who would claim only two wickets.

Last out, Mathews batted for 397 minutes, and reined himself in to hit only 12 fours and a six. It didn't seem to matter that the last five wickets tumbled for 35, all of them to Imran, who hustled to his maiden five-for in 33 balls. As Mathews admitted: "I thought we were sitting pretty with a lead of 376."

By the middle of the fourth day, with Ahmed Shehzad out for a duck and Azhar Ali for five, Sri Lanka were sitting even prettier. But now Younis joined Shan Masood, and booked in for the rest of the match. They saw off the new ball, then attacked the off-breaks of young Kaushal, Sri Lanka's only spinner. He proved easily rattled: as the batsmen came down the track, he served up too many full tosses, then over-compensated with long-hops. Masood and Younis were happy to take advantage. As the pitch lost its venom, both reached three figures not long before the fourth-day close. Masood, playing only because Mohammad Hafeez had flown to India to undergo tests on his bowling action, made his maiden century in his fifth Test, while Younis purred to his 30th, passing Don Bradman.

And, although Masood finally fell in the 11th over of the fifth day, dancing down to Kaushal once too often after a stand of 242, Younis found an equally determined partner in Misbah. It was remarkably smooth sailing: they continued to attack Kaushal and milk the seamers, and whisked Pakistan home without further loss, surpassing the 315 for nine they had made to beat Australia at Karachi in October 1994. Sri Lanka looked bedraggled, and Mathews clearly missed Herath's control.

Younis batted for more than seven hours and, though he was clearly tired towards the end, his sweeping remained sublime. This was the highest of his five fourth-innings Test hundreds - a world record - and the best by a Pakistani, beating 155 by Salim Malik in Colombo in 1996-97. Misbah adopted his more aggressive avatar towards the end, striking successive fours off Kaushal, then launching the first ball of the next over, from Mubarak, over long-on for six to complete a stunning series victory. "The key factor was to keep calm," he said. "We have lost a couple of Tests in Sri Lanka when we panicked." Pakistan's reward was third place in the ICC Test rankings, while Sri Lanka remained seventh.
Man of the Match: Younis Khan.