Pakistan v Sri Lanka 3rd ODI - Pakistan wrap up the short series 2-0
Pakistan chased down a challenging total to beat Sri Lanka by 5 wickets to wrap up the series 2-0 and lift the Brighto Paints Cup. Young and inexperienced Sri Lankan team put up a decent fight in taking the game into the 49th over, whilst defending their total of 297.
Pakistan 299 – 5 – (48.2 overs) - (Fakhar Zaman 76, Abid Ali 74, Haris Sohail 56; Nuwan Pradeep 2-53)
Sri Lanka 297 – 9 – (50 overs) - (Danushka Gunathilaka 133; Mohammad Amir 3-50)
Result - Pakistan won by 5 wickets
Sri Lanka making first use of the wicket owed Danuksha Gunathilaka to reach a competitive hotel. The tall left-handed opening batsman had three productive stands: 88 with Lahiru Thirimanne (36), 50 with Angelo Perrera (13) and another 74 in 11.5 overs with Minod Bhanuka (36) for second, third and fourth wicket respectively. When the score stood at 178- 3 after 35 overs, there was every chance of Sri Lanka reaching a total close to a three hundred mark, if not beyond. Both Gunathilaka and Bhanuka upped the tempo and took the total to 200 in the 39th over.
After completing his second ODI hundred, Gunathilaka was to record a career-best knock of 133 (134 balls,16 fours, 1 six). He was seventh out, yorked by Mohammad Amir in the 45th over, having given his side a realistic chance to level the series. Amir with 3-50 off 10 overs was easily the most successful Pakistan bowler and having given up Test cricket will be expected to lead the attack with ‘smart’ overs at the end of innings.
After Gunathilaka’s exit, Dasun Shanaka, followed his maiden fifty a few days ago with a breezy 43 off just 24 balls faced. In the eventful last over from Wahab Riaz, he took a couple of fours and was caught off a no-ball before being caught off the last delivery. He had done his bit to see Sri Lanka reach 297-9 off their 50 overs with Wahab, not quite at his best, conceding 81 runs in his 10 overs. Amongst the three slow bowlers, off-spinner Iftikhar Ahmed was the hardest to get away with figures of 0-43 off 9 overs.
A compact looking Abid Ali, in for injured Imam-ul-Haq, was the dominating partner in the opening stand with Fakhar Zaman. The 50 of the innings came in 8.1 overs and at the first drinks break the score had reached 110-0 off 17 overs, as Sri Lankan bowlers failed to contain free flow of boundaries.
Abid’s fifty came off only 37 balls and included 9 hits to the fence, including one to the deep point, to reach the milestone. A fortnight short of his 32nd birthday, Abid has broken through quite late in international cricket but has the potential to challenge for the opening slot. He was rapped leg-before off a googly from de Silva after reaching 74 off 67 balls in an opening stand of 123 and later won Man of the Match award.
Fakhar was third wicket to fall at 189, for 76 off 91 balls with 7 fours and a six when a big hundred was on the card. At the end of the 40th over, Pakistan only needed to score run-a-ball and it was left to Haris Sohail (56 off 50balls) and Iftikhar Ahmed (28 not out off 22 balls) to see their side home, which they did with 10 balls to spare.
Pakistan - Fakhar Zaman, Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Sarfaraz Ahmed(c)(wk), Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Usman Shinwari
Sri Lanka - Lahiru Thirimanne(c), Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Angelo Perera, Minod Bhanuka(wk), Shehan Jayasuriya, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Lahiru Kumara, Nuwan Pradeep
Start Time: 11:00
Toss: Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to bat
Venue: National Stadium, Karachi
Officials: Joel Wilson, Aleem Dar, Michael Gough, Asif Yaqoob, David Boon
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