The 29-year-old spinner, who had claimed two wickets in the first innings, took a career-best 7-76 in the second before Pakistan chased down the 90-run victory target in a little over 11 overs to register their first test win in Sri Lanka since 2006.
Openers Mohammad Hafeez (46) and Ahmed Shehzad (43) scored briskly to seal the victory even after rain had washed out four sessions of the contest on the first two days at the Galle International Stadium.
While Shah was the wrecker-in-chief, paceman Wahab Riaz claimed 2-46. Dimuth Karunaratne (79) was the highest scorer for the hosts who folded for 206, leaving Pakistan to score only 90 in the final session to win the match.
After Sri Lanka resumed the final day on 63-2, Shah struck with the first ball of the day with nightwatchman Dilruwan Perera offering no shot to a ball that went to hit his off-stump.
Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne (44) then added 69 runs for the fourth wicket to steady the ship before wheels came off Sri Lanka’s innings.
Thirimanne, who hit Riaz for two boundaries in the same over, edged the bowler to slip where Younus Khan took the catch.
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews looked in discomfort against Riaz but was unlucky to be adjudged caught out at short leg.
Mathews immediately sought a review, convinced he did not nick it and replay did not suggest any edge either but the original decision stayed, prompting the batsman to leave the field shaking his head.
Karunaratne then succumbed to a rush of blood, charging out to Shah only to miss the ball and get stumped, a poor way to end an otherwise patient innings.
Shah dismissed Kithuruwan Vithanage to complete his only second test five-for and Sri Lanka soon came apart.
The teams move to Colombo for the second test starting on Thursday. – Reuters
Original source: Shah spins Pakistan to victory