Pakistan captain Babar Azam felt that his team got unlucky with a number of soft dismissals in the 246-run defeat against Sri Lanka in the second Test at Galle.
Chasing 508, Pakistan began the final day of the series decider at 89/1, but were undone by the spin of Prabath Jayasuriya (5-117) and Ramesh Mendis (4-101) to be all out for 261.
Babar felt that his side lacked partnerships and praised Jayasuriya for bowling wicket-taking deliveries consistently.
"The lower order falling cheaply was disappointing. Credit to Jayasuriya for how he bowled, he was outstanding. He was patient...in Test cricket, you need patience. He's a consistent bowler. He plugs away at a length and sticks to it. Even if he gets hit for a boundary, he doesn't deviate from his length. As a batting unit, you need patience too, and we were slightly lacking in that department. And that goes for our lower order as well," Babar said after the match.
Pakistan chased a record 342 at the same venue last week, but 508 seemed too steep for the visitors on Thursday.
"When you've chased big scores in the past, you get confidence. We brought that confidence into this chase. We had belief we could do it, but Sri Lanka came well prepared and bowled according to their plans. As a batting unit, we were slightly unlucky because there were plenty of soft dismissals," Babar said.
Babar and Mohammad Rizwan managed to stabilize the chase after losing Imam-ul-Haq early in the day. However, Jayasuriya dismissed Rizwan with a sensational arm-ball delivery to break the 79-run stand. The Pakistan skipper felt that the conditions changed quickly after a rain interruption.
"Early morning, the pitch wasn't doing much. But after a bit of rain, the spinners began to get a bit of help which led to a few of our wickets falling early. We didn't strike up a partnership like we needed to, and whenever back-to-back wickets fall, you inevitably feel the pressure," he said.
Despite the series ending in a draw at 1-1, Babar felt that his team has got most things right.
"Day by day, the team is improving and the performances are improving. These conditions weren't easy but we did well in phases. We did things wrong, too, which we'll discuss. But there are lots of positives here, too. And we'll try and build on those," he said.