A strong Pakistani team, with a popular and tactful manager in Salim Asghar Mian, toured Sri Lanka from February to April, the longest stay of any visiting side. The reason for their extended stay was their participation in the 1985-86 Asia Cup tournament and the concurrent Triangular Tournament in which New Zealand played the host country and Pakistan. Pakistan lost to Sri Lanka in the final of Asia Cup but won the Triangular Tournament from New Zealand. Of the seven one-day internationals they played in Sri Lanka, Pakistan won five and lost only one. The Test series against Sri Lanka was squared 1-1.
During the second Test match, which Sri Lanka won by eight wickets, the Pakistan team were said to be considering returning home in protest at the standard of umpiring and the behaviour of the spectators. In the end, good sense prevailed. However, the umpires originally assigned to stand in the third Test of the series were changed before that match. A feature of the two one-day tournaments was the use of neutral umpires.
Sri Lanka missed not having a steady opening partnership when batting and a fast opening bowler when in the field. Their batting depended to a great extent on the two talented left-handers, Arjuna Ranatunga and Asanka Gurusinha, while the attack comprised seam bowlers and left-arm spinner, Don Anurasiri, a new cap. In the high standard of their fielding, though, the Sri Lankans outshone Pakistan, some of whose displays drew criticism from their captain, Imran Khan.
Imran was the leading wicket-taker in the Test matches, and Wasim Akram, left-arm fast-medium, also served his side well. Tauseef Ahmed, the off-spinner, bowled Pakistan to victory on a pitch taking turn in the first Test. Pakistan's experienced batting line-up rarely played to its full potential on pitches which, overall, favoured the seam bowlers. Ramiz Raja was the most consistent, and there were instances of reputations being maintained in innings from Javed Miandad, Mohsin Khan and Salim Malik. Zulqarnain, the latest in Pakistan's efforts to find a regular successor to Wasim Bari, kept wicket well. Manzoor Elahi joined the touring party for the Asia Cup matches.
PAKISTANI TOUR RESULTS
Test matches - Played 3: Won 1, Lost 1, Drawn 1
First-class matches - Played 5: Won 1, Lost 1, Drawn 3
Win - Sri Lanka.
Loss - Sri Lanka.
Draws - Sri Lanka Colts, Sri Lanka Board President's XI, Sri Lanka
Non first-class matches - Played 7: Won 5, Lost 1. No result 1. Abandoned 1. Wins - Sri Lanka (3), Bangladesh, New Zealand. Loss - Sri Lanka. No result - Sri Lanka. Abandoned - Sri Lanka.
Match reports for
3rd ODI: Sri Lanka v Pakistan at Colombo (RPS), Mar 9, 1986