Leg-spinner Yasir Shah dismissed Dilruwan Perera for nought to leave Sri Lanka in danger of being dismissed for their lowest ever total of 71 against Pakistan. After conceding a single he got another wicket when Mendis was caught behind by Sarfraz Ahmed off the fourth delivery of the over. "I learnt a fair bit and I hope that whatever the next series is, we'll try and improve on these", he added.
That same duo came to the crease on Tuesday with 119 still needed but Sri Lanka remained patient, Dilruwan Perera's 5-98 helping to secure the series 2-0 after a similarly engrossing 21-run success in the opener in Abu Dhabi.
Shafiq brought up his 100 off 151 balls, as he and skipper Sarfraz Ahmed took Pakistan past 200, chasing a target of 317 in a thrilling final day of the day-night Test.
"We have seven overs to the second new ball so we have to cash in on them and hope that Asad and Sarfraz see us through".
Mohammad Amir, who has been ruled out of the ODI series with a shin injury, only made four runs before he was trapped lbw off the bowling of Dilruwan.
"It was a tough series for us". We lacked in our batting, we didn't play any long innings, didn't capitalise on good starts. Between Pakistan collapses, in which they lost 5 wickets for 52 runs and later 5 further wickets for 23, there was a 173-run partnership through which Sri Lanka had to hold their nerve.
"The boys executed the game plan really well in this series".
Traditionally, Pakistan have always gone in with two specialist spinners here but this was the first time they went in with only one spinner and three pacers. Until this Sri Lanka side, one totally stripped bare of anything resembling household names, and one that arrived in the emirates last month with their confidence entirely shot. Everyone put their heart and soul into practices, even the management.
"The guys played some really outstanding cricket", Chandimal said.
And yet, when the win came, it was Dinesh Chandimal, the captain who took the catch of Wahab Riaz at deep extra cover, off the bowling of the most experienced player in the side, Rangana Herath. "We'll do better in the future".