Sangakkara lauds his lions
Kumar Sangakkara has paid tribute to Sri Lanka's collective effort in beating Pakistan.
Last Updated: 14/07/09 4:31pm
Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara has paid tribute to his players' collective effort in securing a dramatic second Test victory over Pakistan.
The home side wrapped up the series triumph in just three days in Colombo on Tuesday by successfully chasing down their victory target of 171 with seven wickets remaining.
It marked an astonishing turnaround on a day which Pakistan started in the ascendancy, before losing nine wickets for just 35 runs.
Nuwan Kulasekara finished with match figures of 8-58 while Rangana Herath took 5-99 in Pakistan's second innings and Sangakkara was pleased with the way his team kept going.
"It's a very special win and something that all of us wanted. But we didn't expect to win in this fashion," he said.
"They have been two very absorbing Test matches with the balance swinging this way and that between the two sides.
"But I think the key for us was that whenever we needed someone to step up and take responsibility there was always someone to put his hand up.
"So this series triumph belongs to everyone in the side because everyone chipped in and performed very well."
Sangakkara was particularly impressed with Kulasekara and Herath, adding: "It was hot, the wicket wasn't offering much in either turn or pace, but the two of them really turned the tables.
"It just goes to show if you have heart and if you bend your back and put in the effort, the rewards will come."
Opposition skipper Younis Khan attributed his side's failure to their recent lack of Test cricket due to safety issues, meanwhile.
"It wasn't the first time we have collapsed," he said. "The problem I think is the fact that we haven't played much Test cricket in the last couple of years.
"Everyone knows Test cricket is a massive test of skill. In the first game too we were in a good position and then we collapsed. The same thing happened here.
"The bounce was low on this wicket and think we have to tailor our game according to the situation. This wicket required a change in technique and style."
Younis reserved special praise for 23-year-old debutant Fawad Alam though, after he became the first Pakistan player to score a century away from home on debut.
"Alam was fantastic and one of the positives for us," he said. "He was very doubtful about opening because he has played all his cricket in the middle order.
"There was an opportunity and I asked him if he would open. I told him he could become a big star.
"His response was fantastic and he is one for the future."