All-Round Perera Levels Series For Sri Lanka

Thisara Perera celebrates the wicket of Wahab Riaz
Thisara Perera (second left) celebrates the wicket of Wahab Riaz as Sri Lanka wrap up victory
©REUTERS / Action Images

Sri Lanka 310-9 (Mathews 93, Jayawardene 67) beat
Pakistan 233 (Mohammad Hafeez 62) by 77 runs
Second One-Day International, Hambantota

Thisara Perera hit a quickfire half-century to help his captain Angelo Mathews rescue Sri Lanka's innings and then took three wickets to bowl his side to a series-levelling 77-run win over Pakistan in the second One-Day International in Hambantota.

Perera hit 65 in just 36 balls as he and Mathews (93) hauled Sri Lanka up to a score of 310 for nine and he then took three for 19 as Pakistan were bowled out for 233 in reply in 43.5 overs.

Mahela Jayawardene also scored a half-century for Sri Lanka while Ahmed Shehzad (56) and Fawad Alam (62) did likewise for Pakistan before they failed to capitalise on a strong start to their innings.

Lasith Malinga, Rangana Herath and Seekkuge Prasanna, in the side in place of Dinesh Chandimal, all took two wickets apiece.

Sri Lanka's win sees them hit back after Pakistan won the opening match by four wickets and the decider is in Dambulla on Saturday 30th August.

Wahab Riaz struck twice early on to remove Upul Tharanga for 27 and Kumar Sangakkara for 11 as Sri Lanka stuttered to 62 for three.

Then Jayawardene, who made 67 in 74 balls, guided them into a stronger position with a 122-run stand for the fourth wicket with Mathews.

However, a brilliant spell of bowling from Mohammad Hafeez (3-39) saw off Jayawardene (bowled) and then Prasanna (1) and Ashen Priyanjan (3), both leg before wicket.

From 194 for six, however, Sri Lanka counter-attacked once again, led by Perera who smacked five fours and four sixes in a belligerent innings.

Mathews made 93 in 115 balls with eight fours and was caught by Hafeez off Riaz (4-65) within sight of an ODI century.

Perera was run out from the penultimate ball of the innings and Malinga bowled first ball by left-armer Riaz as Pakistan tried to recover.

Sharjeel Khan was drafted into Pakistan's as a replacement for Younus Khan, but he lasted just 10 balls, scoring nine before he was caught by Herath off Malinga.

Shehzad (56 in 80 balls) and Hafeez (62 in 49) then put on 96 for the second wicket to put Sri Lanka under some pressure, so much so that by the end of the innings, eight bowlers had been used - the first time they'd done that against Pakistan in Sri Lanka.

Once leg-spinner Prasanna had trapped Hafeez in front, and also removed Shehzad caught behind after Umar Akmal (1) fell cheaply to Tillakaratne Dilshan, Pakistan were struggling.

Misbah-ul-Haq (36) and Fawad Alam (30) tried hard to get the inning back on track, but the runs were coming too slowly and by the time Misbah fell to Herath, they needed more than eight runs per over.

When Sohaib Maqsood, Pakistan's hero from the opening game, was trapped in front by Herath for nine, Shahid Afridi walked in with his side needing 109 in 76 balls.

With Alam still at the crease, the game was still on and Afridi hit three fours in making 17 in 10 balls prior to falling, caught by Nuwan Kulasekara off Perera.

Perera effectively wrapped things up by having Riaz (5) caught by Herath and Alam caught by Mathews, after which Malinga bowled Junaid Khan (1) to round off the victory.

© Cricket World 2014