Sri Lanka pulled off a dramatic 50-run win in the first Test at Galle Tuesday after Pakistan faltered in the second innings when chasing a modest target of 168.
Pakistan, who began the fourth day's play needing just 97 to win with eight wickets in hand, lost their last eight batsmen for 46 runs, handing Sri Lanka a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series.
"A lot of credit for the win should go to Sangakkara," Younus told AFP. "His captaincy was brilliant on the last day, especially his decision to give the ball to a spinner.
"He made the right moves in his first Test as captain.
On a lively wicket that had assisted seamers on the first three days, Sangakkara instead gave the second over on the crucial fourth day to left-arm spinner Rangana Herath.
The gamble paid off handsomely.
Herath dismissed the two overnight batsmen, Mohammad Yousuf and Salman Butt, with his first four deliveries, and took two more wickets to finish with career-best figures of 4-15 from 11.3 overs.