Sri Lanka had to fall back on much of that confidence in the fourth innings of the Dubai Test, as Pakistan made a charge for the target.
Starting off the day on 198/5, Pakistan continued to edge their way closer to victory, but after Asad Shafiq and captain Sarfraz Ahmed added 27 runs to their 146-run partnership, Sarfraz was caught by Nuwan Pradeep at deep backward square leg off the bowling of Dilruwan.
It was tough on Shafiq to finish on the losing side, the batsman hitting his first ball of the day for four to bring up the 150 partnership and see his team past the 200 mark.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's homework for Rangana Herath went in vain as Sri Lanka unleashed a secret weapon in form of Dilruwan Perera, who spelled a doom with a magical spell, as the hosts lost three wickets with in a span of three runs that dented their hopes of a series-leveling win.
It is Pakistan's first Test series loss in the United Arab Emirates since it became their unofficial "home" for cricket following the 2009 terrorist attack on a Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore. Last night, it was a little hard to bowl, especially with the dew (but) we knew when we come today, it will grip more. Both openers gave us a good start in the first match but the thing is we couldn't convert those scores. This was my first series as captain and it was pretty tough.
Pakistan and Sri Lanka now play a five-match one-day series, the first in Dubai on Friday. We knew when we come today, it will grip more.
However, Sri Lanka still had a comfortable lead as Pakistan were all out for 262 in reply to Sri Lanka's first inning total of 482. "I knew they would do their job in this session and I am really happy with the way we played". "The selectors have also supported me to create the culture and passion we had in the past".
Pakistan, who were placed sixth before this series with 93 points, have lost five points to slip down one position to seventh, with 13 points being the difference between them and the eighth-ranked West Indies, according to the latest rankings announced by ICC on Tuesday. "Last night it was a little hard to bowl, especially with the dew. We will have some senior players returning and I hope we'll play better cricket there".