Pakistan 226-2 (Hafeez 113no) beat
Sri Lanka 225 (Ajmal 4-39) by 8 wickets
Fourth One-Day International, Abu Dhabi
Mohammad Hafeez hit his third hundred of the series and helped Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the fourth ODI on Wednesday.
At the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, he scored 113 not out and became the second Pakistan batsman after Zaheer Abbas to score three centuries in one series. With this win, Pakistan took an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.
Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first and they were restricted to 225 runs in 48.5 overs with Saeed Ajmal (4-39) and Umar Gul (3-37) doing the damage.
Gul removed openers Kusal Perera (8), Tilakaratne Dilshan (8) and later Dinesh Chandimal (5) to reduce Lanka to 36 for three. Then, debutant Ashan Priyanjan played an impressive innings, staying on for 93 balls and scoring 74 runs, inclusive of ten fours. It was the highest ODI score by a Lankan on debut, beating Chamara Silva’s 55 runs versus Australia way back in 1999.
In doing so, he built an 89-run fourth wicket stand with Kumar Sangakkara, who scored 51 runs off 78 balls, with three fours. But the latter was run-out by substitute fielder Anwar Ali and they had to start all over again. Then he added 40 runs with skipper Angelo Mathews and helped Lanka to a decent total. Mathews scored 38 runs off 46 balls, with two fours and one six.
Priyanjan was dismissed in the 36th over just as the powerplays stared and it sparked another little collapse. Ajmal then bowled Nuwan Kulasekara (1), and trapped Mathews LBW as well as Sachitra Senanayake (0). Thanks to Kithuruwan Vithanage’s useful 27 runs, Lanka were able to cross the 200-run mark. Juniad Khan picked up 2-42 as well.
Thereafter, Hafeez scored his ninth ODI century as Pakistan chased down the target in the 42nd over.
Opener Sharjeel Khan was out for only 13 runs, and then Hafeez put on 84 runs for the second wicket with Ahmed Shehzad, who scored 44 runs off 56 balls, with five fours. He was dismissed in the 21st over, but Hafeez did not let his guard down.
He put on 111 unbeaten runs for the third wicket with Shoaib Maqsood, driving his team to victory. Hafeez hit two sixes and 12 boundaries off 119 balls to reach his hundred, while Maqsood finished 46 not out off 56 balls, with a six and four boundaries.
Suranga Lakmal (1-49) and Mathews (1-15) were the two wicket-takers for Lanka in what was otherwise a disappointing outing.
© Cricket World 2013