Akmal, Misbah Seal Series Win For Pakistan
Pakistan 219-7 (Misbah-ul-Haq 66, Umar Akmal 61no) beat
Sri Lanka 218-9 (Sangakkara 78) by three wickets
Fifth One-Day Intenational, Abu Dhabi
Pakistan rounded off their One-Day International series against Sri Lanka with a three-wicket win that wrapped up a 4-1 series victory in Abu Dhabi.
Sri Lanka lost four wickets for 46 runs before recovering to post 218 for nine before half-centuries from Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Akmal guided Pakistan home with more than two overs to spare.
The victory puts Misbah's side up to fifth in the International Cricket Council (ICC) ODI rankings and completed a double after they beat Sri Lanka 1-0 in the Test series.
The two sides will now lock horns in a one-off Twenty20 International in Abu Dhabi on 25th November to bring the tour to an end.
Umar Gul (1-34) and Sohail Tanvir (4-34) landed the early blows which left Sri Lanka reeling and although Kumar Sankakkara made 78 in 100 balls and Angelo Mathews hit 61 in 101 balls, there were few other contributions apart from Tissara Perera's 25 and Upul Tharanga's 12.
Another impressively disciplined effort in the field from Pakistan saw Junaid Khan, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez all pick up a wicket.
In reply, Pakistna lost Hafeez (14), Asad Shafiq (26) and Younus Khan (34) but missed a chance to take the wicket of Misbah when he was dropped at point early in his innings.
Shoaib Malik fell one ball after Younus as both men were trapped in front by Jeevan Mendis but Misbah forged a crucial 84-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Umar which ensured there was no way back for Sri Lanka.
Mendis got his man when Misbah was caught by Perera as the leg-spinner clinched figures of three for 36 but Akmal struck eight fours in a confident knock of 61 not out in 60 balls to ensure that the subsequent dismissals of Afridi (4) and Tanvir (1) merely delayed the inevitable.
© Cricket World 2011