Pakistan Hold Nerve To Beat Sri Lanka
Pakistan 142-5 (Misbah-ul-Haq 48no) beat
Sri Lanka 141 (Chandimal 56) by 5 wickets
Twenty20 International, Abu Dhabi
Pakistan delivered a strong all-round performance as they held their nerve to beat Sri Lanka by five wickets in the one-off Twenty20 International in Abu Dhabi.
After Aizaz Cheema returned figures of four for 30 to dismiss Sri Lanka for 140, Pakistan struggled initially before getting home with three balls to spare thanks to an unbeaten 48 from captain Misbah-ul-Haq.
He faced 38 balls and formed a match-turning 43-run partnership with Shahid Afridi (22 in 15 balls) to prevent Sri Lanka from bowling their way back into a gripping contest after Asad Shafiq had earlier made 33.
Lasith Malinga, Tissera Perera, Dlihara Fernando, Ajantha Mendis and Tillakaratne Dilshan all took a wicket but to no avail as Pakistan added the Twenty20 success to Test (1-0) and One-Day International (4-1) series wins in the United Arab Emirates.
They had earlier looked under pressure as Dilshan (28) and Dinesh Chandimal (56 in 44 balls) got their side into a strong position before Cheema inspired the latest in a string of concerning batting collapses.
Upul Tharanga (12) and Angelo Mathews (14) were the only other players to reach double figures as Sri Lanka's batsmen failed to deal with the disciplined Cheema and the wiles of spinners Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez and Saeed Ajmal, whose 11 overs combined went for just 63 runs.
Mathews and Chamara Silva (4) were also run out as Sri Lanka ended their tour with just one solitary ODI success behind them.
© Cricket World 2011