Sri Lanka opted not to chase down a challenging 270 for victory from 71 overs, settling for 195 for 4 from 62 overs against Pakistan before the teams decided to call off the third and final Test at the Pallekele International Stadium on Thursday.
The draw gave Sri Lanka a 1-0 victory in the three-Test series 1-0 by virtue of their 209-run win in the first Test at Galle. The second Test at Colombo was drawn.
Sri Lanka had been set 270 in just over two sessions on the final day after Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, declared their second innings on 380 for 8, half an hour before lunch. The declaration came immediately after Asad Shafiq, the top-scorer in the first innings with 75, reached his second Test century.
Pakistan had started the day on 299 for 8 and added 81 runs in 24.4 overs as Shafiq got his century and Adnan Akmal, the wicketkeeper-batsman, scored a gutsy unbeaten 35 despite playing with a hairline fracture in his left hand.
Rangana Herath, the left-arm spinner, was Sri Lanka's most successful bowler with 4 for 99, while Dilhara Fernando, the medium pacer, claimed 3 for 74.
Sri Lanka began their chase in right earnest with Dinesh Chandimal, drafted into the top of the batting order after Tillakaratne Dilshan opted out due to health worries in his family, anchoring the innings with a fine 65 even as Tharanga Paranavitana, his opening partner, fell for 22. Chandimal's third half-century in four Tests included eight boundaries. He was dismissed in the last over before tea, caught low by Shafiq at mid-off off Saeed Ajmal, ending an 88-run stand for the second wicket with Kumar Sangakkara, who eventually finished unbeaten on 74.
Sri Lanka also lost the wickets of Mahela Jayawardene, the captain, for 11 and Thilan Samaraweera for 10 as the chase fizzled out and a draw became inevitable. Ajmal was chiefly responsible for putting the brakes, picking up 3 for 50 from an extended spell of 26 overs.
This was Sri Lanka's first Test series win in three years since beating New Zealand 2-0 at home in 2009.