ISLAMABAD - King Younus Khan played masterful match-winning unbeaten innings to provide Pakistan historic series victory against Islanders after a gap of nine years and will prove a morale booster for green caps ahead of ODI series.

Younus not only scored swashbuckling unbeaten 171 in the mammoth run-chase but also guided Shan Masood to hammer his first ton. For the last decade or so, the experienced batsmen remained backbone of Pakistan batting and played countless knocks, which helped green caps register victories against mighty opponents. Despite getting rough treatment from a number of PCB chairmen especially Ijaz Butt, Younus always shut his critics’ mouths with his match-winning performances.

Younus broke a number of records during his match-winning knock. He became the only cricketer to score five tons in second innings and also scored 30 centuries for the country in Tests and now became number 10 batsmen in the world who had played most number of three figure knocks.

It was almost impossible task, as green caps are well-known for chokers, when it comes to chasing down even smaller targets. Pakistani batsmen spoiled all the good work done by the bowlers, especially Yasir Shah in first innings as mighty Lankan batting was kept under well control. After the retirement of Sangakkara and Jayawardene, Sri Lankan batting doesn't look as strong as it was once known for.

After winning the toss twice and batting first in the first two Tests, Misbah decided to bowl first in the third Test, eye-brows were raised on Pakistan team selection and cricket greats were surprised on the omission of Zulfiqar Babar, who bowled superbly in the last Tests, but Juniad's exclusion was quite justified while Ehsan Adil inclusion was very surprising. Imran Khan deserved a chance since long, and when given chance, he proved his credential and played his due role in the team’s victory. Although he failed to grab a single wicket in the first innings, but he bounced back in style and took five key wickets to ensure target remain under control. For his brilliant bowling and ability to swing ball on both sides, it is being suggested strongly that Imran must be included in the ODI squad. Ehsan never showed signs of match-winning bowler and always kept on struggling with injuries.

Pakistan team management must have to focus on opening department, which always lets down the entire team. The specialist openers are need of the hour. Ahmed Shahzad and Hafeez both are inconsistent and fail to provide solid opening stand on regular basis. Now the national team has to play high-profile series so if they want to cling on to their ICC number 3 Test ranking slot, they have to focus on key areas. Pakistani batting was solely responsible for getting out cheaply in the first innings. Had batsmen played sensibly, Pakistan could have easily taken healthy first innings lead. Thanks mainly to Sarfraz Ahmed's knock, Pakistan conceded 63 runs lead.

At one stage, things were looking really grim as Lankan batsmen were piling runs, but Imran ripped through Lankan middle and lower middle order and gave Pakistan grimmer of hope. Like first innings, Pakistan batting got off to worst possible start as Ahmed Shahzad was sent back to pavilion without disturbing scorers and Azhar Ali followed him soon as Pakistan innings was tattering at 13-2. It was Younus Khan who showed his class and scored runs freely and also guided young Shan Masood to bat with lot of maturity and authority. Both the players played sensibly and carved out surprising victories for the team.

Sri Lanka made huge blunder by dropping match-winning bowler Herath and relied heavily on relatively inexperienced bowlers. But credit goes to Younus, Sarfraz, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah and Imran Khan. Misbah is arguably most blessed captain as with highly inexperience teams, he had managed to win a lot of series against top cricket playing nations. Yasir Shah was pick of Sri Lanka series, as he proved that he is a world class leg spinner. But Afridi's presence in the team denied him from his genuine right. Now first task of securing Test series victory is achieved and now comes the second and highly important task of winning ODI series which is must for Pakistan to book berth in the next year’s Champions Trophy. The team must play as a unit while Azhar Ali should make bold and timely decisions to ensure green caps register series win with utmost ease.