Coming off a 3-0 whitewash at home against India, Sri Lanka sealed a sensational 2-0 victory against Pakistan in the UAE. Not involving series' against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, this is only the third time Sri Lanka have won two Tests in a series away from home. All those series wins have come against Pakistan. They had won 2-1 in 1995-1996 and 1999-2000.
Sri Lanka's away record
The series win in UAE is Sri Lanka's fifth away from home, out of 42 series' of two or more Tests (excluding Bangladesh and Zimbabwe). Since 2000, this has been only their second series win, the other being a 1-0 victory in England in 2014. In four away series' since 2014, Sri Lanka have not won a Test. They lost eight and drew one Test. They lost 2-0 in New Zealand in 2014-15 and 2015-16, 2-0 in England and 3-0 in South Africa last year.
End of an era in UAE
Since moving their home base to the UAE, Pakistan were the only team not to lose any Test series at home this decade. They played nine series' in UAE since 2010, won five of them and drew four. Their unbeaten run began with a two-match drawn series against South Africa in November 2010 under Misbah-ul-Haq's captaincy. Before this series, Pakistan had lost only four matches, won 13 and drew seven in the UAE.
Another Shafiq ton in vain
Asad Shafiq has scored two fourth-innings centuries in the last year, both in losses in a day-night Test. He scored 137 at the Gabba last year in a chase of 490. Pakistan lost that Test by 40 runs. In Dubai, Pakistan lost by 68 runs, chasing 317. If they were successfully chased down, both would have been fourth-innings records: the highest successful chase in Tests and the highest successful chase in UAE respectively. No other batsman has more than one century in chases in the last year. He has two fifties in the fourth innings and Pakistan lost those Tests as well: Galle in 2012 and Johannesburg in 2012-13.
Shafiq's fourth-innings average of 45.35 is his highest among the four innings of a Test. His two centuries in chases are also the joint second most among Pakistan batsmen, behind Younis Khan's five. Ijaz Ahmed and Javed Miandad also have two. Shafiq was averaging just 17.20 in ten Test innings this year before the century in Dubai. He had not hit a single fifty, with a highest score of 39. With this century, he has now scored Test hundreds in each year since 2011.