Solid Pakistan batting leaves Sri Lankans without answers

Sarfraz Ahmed scored a brisk 77 as Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka by 135 runs in the third ODI in Colombo.
Sarfraz Ahmed scored a brisk 77 as Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka by 135 runs in the third ODI in Colombo.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Pakistan 316-4 (Sarfraz 77) beat
Sri Lanka 181 (Thirimanne 56) by 135 runs
Third One-Day International in Colombo

Solid batting and a four-wicket haul by Yasir Shah helped Pakistan beat Sri Lanka comprehensively by 135 runs in the third One Day International in Colombo to take a 2-1 lead in the five game series.

Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat first. They started slowly but Ahmed Shehzad (44) switched gears in the seventh over, hitting Angelo Mathews (0-52) for three fours.

Azhar Ali (49) became the fastest Pakistan skipper to 1000 ODI runs with a four the next over and ended the power-play on 55 for no loss after 10 overs.

Lasith Malinga (1-80) got the first breakthrough dismissing Shehzad six short of a half-century.

Pakistan reached 108 for one after 20 overs. Mohammad Hafeez (54) hit couple of fours in the 23rd over but Ali missed out on his half-century by a run thanks to poor running by him while attempting a second run.

The match was interrupted for about 20 minutes by a light drizzle in the 36th over by which time Pakistan reached 187 for two.

Hafeez and Sarfraz Ahmed (77), promoted up the order, added 72 runs for the third wicket.

Hafeez reached his fifty but was out the next over trying a slog sweep off the bowling of Sachith Pathirana (1-49).

Shoaib Malik (42 not out) played a wonderful 29-ball cameo adding 61 for the fourth wicket with Sarfraz who brought up his 50 in 57 balls in the 41st over, by the end of which Pakistan were 226 for three.

Pakistan scored 90 in the next nine overs, thanks to a blistering cameo from Mohammad Rizwan (35 not out) who added an unbeaten 59 in just 34 balls with Malik.

A big chunk of those runs came off the last over from Malinga, who gave away 21 runs with Rizwan hitting a six and four and Malik smacking two fours.

Pakistan scored 316 for four in their 50 overs with Malinga having an off day along with Thisara Perera (0-63).

Sri Lanka didn’t have the best of starts losing Tillakaratne Dilshan (14) in the sixth over off a slower delivery from Anwar Ali (2-24).

Kusal Perera (20) smacked three fours, before edging one to the wicket keeper off Ali’s bowling.

Sri Lanka reached 57 for two after 11 overs as Upul Tharanga (16) and Lahiru Thirimanne (56) added 40 quick runs before the former was stumped off the bowling of Shah (4-29).

Sri Lanka were struck a major blow when they lost their skipper Mathews (4) mishitting one to long off, Shah the bowler once again.

Imad Wasim (2-28) broke a budding partnership with his maiden wicket breaching the defence of Dinesh Chandimal (18).

Sri Lanka lost the way further when Rahat Ali (1-35) got Thirimanne to edge one to the wicket-keeper.

The same over, Milinda Siriwardana (2) was run out sent back by his partner at the non-striker’s end and caught well short of the crease.

Sri Lanka were 145 for seven after 31 overs at that point. A few overs later, trouble came in the form of crowd disturbance as a projectile from the audience hit a Pakistan player.

About half hour later, the game resumed after rioting stands were cleared.

Sri Lankan lower order survived another eight overs. However, they were eventually bundled out for 181 in 41.1 overs, losing the game by 135 runs.

Shah was the pick of the bowlers, wrecking the middle order of Pakistan. Pakistan currently lead the five game series 2-1. 

© Cricket World 2015