Sri Lanka might have lost the series but signed off satisfied with safety and security measures in Pakistan after the country’s first home test series in 10 years.
The series held major significance for a host nation deprived of all forms of international cricket for almost a decade.
Pakistan had been forced to play its home series outside the country, mostly in the United Arab Emirates, since 2009, when the bus carrying the Sri Lankan team was attacked by terrorists in Lahore. Six policemen and a driver escorting match officials were killed. No Sri Lankan players or officials died.
“It was 200 percent, said Karunaratne. “The security was really good. They were like fathers for us. They kept talking to us and they were right behind us every time.
“When we were going out to eat or something, they were there. We were feeling secure and safe here. They’ve done a really good job. Pakistan fans are really good – they kept supporting us.
“What I can say is that it’s really safe here and that all the other countries playing cricket – they can come and play tests, T20s or one-dayers – it’s safe to play in Pakistan.”
Cricket-wise, Karunaratne rued the fact his side lost control in the second innings of this second test, after dominating for most of the first two days, to lose the match by 263 runs, and the series 1-0.
Other than Oshada Fernando (102) and Niroshan Dickwella (65) no batsman stood solid enough to trying to keep the tourists’ hopes alive.
“In the first two days we did work hard. After that, on day three, we lost our patience,” said Karunaratne.
“We were trying too many things. That’s why we gave so many runs in that critical period. After that they kept going. They put runs on the board. We were trying to defend, but our bowlers have to be a bit more patient. We didn’t do well in the last two days.”