Alam, Maqsood Partnership Sees Pakistan Home

Fawad Alam sweeps
Fawad Alam's half-century helped Pakistan recover from five wickets down to win in Hambantota
©REUTERS / Action Images

Pakistan 277-6 (Sohaib Maqsood 89no) beat
Sri Lanka 275-7 by four wickets (D/L)
First One-Day International, Hambantota

Fawad Alam and Sohaib Maqsood compiled a new national record sixth-wicket partnership of 147 to put Pakistan on course for a four-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the first One-Day International in Hambantota.

The pair came together with their side struggling on 106 for five chasing 276 to win in 45 overs but turned the game round, Maqsood hitting 89 not out and Alam 62.

After Alam was caught by Ashen Priyanjan off Lasith Malinga in the 42nd over, Shahid Afridi marked the occasion of becoming Pakistan's most-capped ODI cricketer by hitting the winning run with a ball to spare.

Angelo Mathews (89) and Mahela Jayawardene (63) had earlier excelled as Sri Lanka posted 275 for seven, themselves overcoming a sluggish start that saw them slip to 75 for four.

Mathews faced 81 balls and looked to be on course for a maiden ODI century before he was bowled by Wahab Riaz going for a big shot.

Jayawardene was run out by Umar Akmal after hitting eight fours in 66 deliveries, sharing a 116-run stand for the sixth wicket.

Pakistan welcomed back Junaid Khan but missed Saeed Ajmal, who is off to Australia to undergo analysis of his bowling action.

Junaid leaked 75 runs in nine over and the wicket-taking responsibilities were shared by Wahab (3-50), Mohammad Irfan (2-48) and Mohammad Hafeez (1-32) after rain reduced the match to 45 overs per side before play could begin.

Setting off in pursuit of their target, Pakistan started well with Ahmed Shehzad hitting 49 and Hafeez 21 before things started to slide.

Hafeez was trapped in front by Mathews and lost Pakistan's review in the process before Younus Khan flicked Mathews into the leg-side only to find Nuwan Kulasekara - one of only two leg-side fielders - waiting to take the catch.

He had made just three and when Akmal (15), Shehzad and Misbah-ul-Haq (13) fell in quick succession, Pakistan were in deep trouble, and few were giving them a chance.

Alam and Maqsood were not to be denied, however, and despite needing to score at a run-rate of eight or more for the final 20 overs, did so with some aplomb.

Maqsood struck nine fours and Alam found the boundary seven times and although the latter fell late on, the job had almost been done.

Afridi applied the finishing touches with a couple of fours - including the winning hit off Kulasekara - to finish not out on 14 in 10 balls.

Mathews finished with two for 48, Thisara Perera two for 43, Malinga one for 60 and Rangana Herath one for 49.

© Cricket World 2014

Fixtures & Results
6th-10th August: 1st Test, Galle
Sri Lanka 533-9 dec. & 99-3 beat
Pakistan 451 & 180 by seven wickets
14th-18th August: 2nd Test, Colombo
Sri Lanka 320 & 282 (Sangakkara 59) beat
Pakistan 330 & 165 (Herath 5-57) by 105 runs
23rd August: 1st ODI, Hambantota
Pakistan 277-6 (Sohaib Maqsood 89no) beat
Sri Lanka 275-7 by four wickets (D/L)
26th August: 2nd ODI, Hambantota
Sri Lanka 310-9 (Mathews 93, Jayawardene 67) beat
Pakistan 233 (Mohammad Hafeez 62) by 77 runs
30th August: 3rd ODI, Dambulla
Sri Lanka 104-3 (Dilshan 50no) beat
Pakistan 102 (Perera 4-34) by seven wickets