Sri Lanka needed little more than 26 overs to reach teh 153-run target and beat Pakistan for a series-levelling seven-wicket victory in the second Test.

Dimuth Karunaratne (50) got Sri Lanka off to a flying start before adding 72 runs for the third wicket with skipper Angelo Mathews (43 not out) as the hosts reached the target after some aggressive batting.

Eager to wrap up the victory, Sri Lanka promoted Kithuruwan Vithanage (34) to the opener's slot and the batsman's quickfire 23-ball cameo set the tone for a successful chase.

"We wanted to bat positively because we never know when the rain is going to come," Mathews said at the presentation ceremony.

"So we wanted Kithuruwan to go out and express himself. We gave him the green signal to take the bowlers on.

"We approached it in a very positive way, you can't get bogged down and let the bowlers get on top. We just wanted to play positive cricket."

After heavy rain had washed out Sunday's entire final session and delayed the final day's start, Vithanage signalled his team's intention by hitting the first ball of the day for a boundary.

He then clobbered left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar for back-to-back sixes before Sri Lanka lost two wickets in two balls to find themselves in a spot of bother.

Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah (C) picked up eight wickets in the match [Getty Images]

Vithanage perished trying to slog-sweep Babar over midwicket with Mohammad Hafeez taking the skier.

Yasir Shah then dismissed the retiring Kumar Sangakkara for a golden duck with a delivery that hit the batsman's glove and thigh pad en route Azhar Ali's hands at short-leg.

With the threat of rain looming large and groundsmen ready to rush in with the covers, Karunaratne and Mathews kept scoring briskly.

"The session from lunch to tea really dented us on the first day," Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq said, referring to their collapse for 138 runs.

"We lost all our best batsmen during that period. That was I think the main difference in the Test match."

Sri Lanka paceman Dhammika Prasad was named man of the match for his seven wickets, to go with the 35 runs he scored in the first-innings.

The teams now move to Pallekele for the third and final Test from Friday.

Scorecard:

Pakistan 138 all out and 329 all out (Ali 117, Prasad 4-92)

Sri Lanka 315 all out and 153-3 (Karunaratne 50, Shah 2-55)

Source: Reuters