Thursday 7 June 2012 

Pakistan Take Victory In Rain-Affected Opening ODI

Pakistan Take Victory In Rain-Affected Opening ODI
Pakistan Take Victory In Rain-Affected Opening ODI
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

Pakistan 135-4 (Mohammad Hafeez 37) beat
Sri Lanka 135-8 (Thirimanne 42no) by 6 wickets (D/L)
First One-Day International, Pallekele
Scorecard

Pakistan won a rain-affected opening One-Day International against Sri Lanka by six wickets under the Duckworth/Lewis method in Pallekele.

Sri Lanka laboured between several rain breaks to post a score of 135 for eight in 42 overs before Pakistan reached the same score in 34.1 overs to take their ninth win in 11 matches between the two sides.

Lahiru Thirimanne took advantage of being dropped twice to top score with 42 not out while Umar Gul and Mohammad Sami spearheaded Pakistan's charge with three wickets apiece.

Kumar Sangakkara then notched a record 77th stumping in ODI cricket but Pakistan recovered from losing early wickets to ease to a confidence-boosting win.

Having won the toss and chose to bat, Sri Lanka were quickly in trouble as Gul (3-24) made inroads by having Mahela Jayawardene trapped in front for three and Tillakaratne Dilshan caught by Saeed Ajmal for five.

Sami (3-19) trapped a hesitant Kumar Sangakkara leg before for nine with a full delivery before Dinesh Chandimal played on to Gul for a nine-ball duck.

Upul Tharanga (10) fell to Mohammad Hafeez and Angelo Mathews (0) was smartly caught by captain Misbah-ul-Haq at slip as he drove at Sami.

The rain delays gave Sri Lanka the opportunity to regroup and Thirimanne combined effectively with Tissara Perera (17) and Nuwan Kulasekara (18) to add a touch of respectability to their score.

Some eye-catching drives helped him hit three fours but Pakistan will rue the fact that he was dropped first by Sarfraz Ahmed behind the stumps and then by Umar Gul.

Sohail Tanvir bowled tidily but endured a luckless afternoon, having Jayawardene caught behind off a no ball and then dropping Kulasekara at third man.

The Duckworth/Lewis method calculation then reduced Pakistan's target to 135 and when they slipped to 27 for two early on, the match was in the balance.

Azhar Ali was caught by Sangakkara off Lasith Malinga for three and Younus Khan (5) was bowled by Kulasekara.

Hafeez then joined forces with captain Misbah-ul-Haq to first guide their side out of choppy waters and then begin to put pressure back on Sri Lanka with some attacking strokes. Hafeez hit a six and five fours before becoming Sangakkara's landmark 77th stumping off the bowling of Rangana Herath for 36.

Misbah then found another willing ally in Umar Akmal and together they put on 55 for the fourth wicket to extinguish Sri Lanka's hopes.

Misbah was run out, just before the winning runs were hit, for 31 in 79 balls as Akmal remained unbeaten on 36 in 48 deliveries alongside Shahid Afridi on two.

The second match in the five-game series is at the same venue on Saturday 9th June.

© Cricket World 2012

© Cricket World 2012

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