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.
The fifth day started with Sarfraz and Asad Shafiq in the middle after they had lifted Pakistan from 52 for 5 to 198 for 5 in their chase of 317.
In the end Sri Lanka won the match by 68 runs and was victorious, thus trouncing the Pakistani team again.
Thirteen months after lifting the prestigious ICC Test Championship mace for topping the ICC Test Team Rankings, Pakistan have plummeted to seventh in the latest Test team rankings, which were updated following the conclusion of its home series against Sri Lanka.
Two balls later, Shafiq edged Suranga Lakmal to Mendis and the last wicket went to Herath as Wahab Riaz (1) skied one to captain Dinesh Chandimal, who led the raucous Sri Lanka celebrations.
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The gulf country has been Pakistan's home away from home since 2010, but the host couldn't overhaul Sri Lanka twice on the final days of both Tests. "Their attitude and disciplibne is there and that brings the spirit too".
Sarfraz was gutted to have lost, and said: "Was a tough series for us".
Stat of the day This was the ninth Test Pakistan have lost in their past 11 matches, a run that started when they lost the final match of their three-Test series against West Indies in Sharjah previous year. "I knew they would do their job in this session and I am really happy with the way we played".
"It was a tough series for us".
Leg-spinner Yasir Shah dismissed Perera for nought to leave Sri Lanka in danger of being all out for their lowest ever total - they were skittled for just 71 against Pakistan in 1994.
Mohammad Amir will not be bowling for Pakistan in the match owing to his injury. We came close in both matches, but we haven't played good cricket and that's why we have lost the series.
"Test captaincy is a little hard and I've learnt a lot". We knew when we come today, it will grip more. The boys are new as well and they'll learn.