Sri Lanka Earn Consolation Win

Dinesh Chandimal pulls
Dinesh Chandimal guided Sri Lanka to a tense win with an undefeated half-century.
©REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte. Picture Supplied by Action Images

Sri Lanka 235-8 (Chandimal 64no) beat
Pakistan 232 (Malinga 4-57) by 2 wickets
Fifth One-Day International, Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka salvaged some pride ahead of the Test series against Pakistan by winning the final One-Day International in Abu Dhabi by two wickets.

A series that began with two close contests and then saw Pakistan clinch it with a brace of convincing wins reverted back to tension as Sri Lanka’s ninth-wicket pair of Ajantha Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal scored 36 off the final four overs to give their side victory.

The result might have been very different had the DRS system not been in operation. Mendis was given out LBW first ball to Saeed Ajmal but successfully reviewed the decision. He went on to do more than just support Chandimal and hit the winning boundary in the final over bowled by Anwar Ali to end on 19 off 14 balls.

Chandimal, meanwhile, finished on 64 off 70 balls and held the innings together after it had threatened to implode. Openers Kushal Perera and Tillakaratne Dilshan had added 75 in little more than 12 overs, but both men fell just shy of half-centuries and wickets tumbled in the middle overs.

113 for one after 24 overs became 195 for eight in the 46th as Junaid Khan (3-31) removed Dilshan (45), Kumar Sangakkara (22) and Sachithra Senanayake (3), and Umar Gul, Anwar Ali and Saeed Ajmal accounted for Ashan Priyanjan (1), Angelo Mathews (8) and Kithuruwan Vithanage (14). Junaid might have proved the match-winner for Pakistan but limped off the field after bowling just one ball of his eighth over. They were also without Shahid Afridi, who has returned home to be with his unwell daughter.

Their innings had earlier been a misfiring affair. The most substantial partnership was the 58 that Mohammad Hafeez shared with his captain Misbah-ul-Haq for the fourth-wicket after openers Sharjeel Khan and Ahmed Shehzad had both fallen after getting useful starts.

Series triple-centurion Hafeez was bowled by Angelo Mathews (1-26) when on 41, with Umar Akmal then adding a further 41 with Misbah before both departed in quick succession; Akmal for 20 to Ajantha Mendis (1-42) and Misbah to Lasith Malinga for 51.

It took an unbeaten cameo of 41 off 38 balls from Anwar Ali to lift Pakistan to 232. The all-rounder hit two fours and a six but was left stranded with three balls of the innings to go as Suranga Lakmal dismissed Ajmal (8) and Junaid (0) with successive deliveries. Malinga took wickets at different stages of the Pakistan run chase and ended as the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers with four for 57.

The first Test between the two sides begins in Abu Dhabi on 31st December. Pakistan have recalled Mohammad Hafeez after his imperious showing in this series, while Sri Lanka have included young left-arm seam-bowler Vishwa Fernando in their squad. They also welcome back Mahela Jayawardene and Rangana Herath after the pair missed the ODIs for personal reasons.

© Cricket World 2013

Fixtures & Results

8th December: Pakistan v Afghanistan, Sharjah
PAK 138-4 beat AFG 137-8 by 6 wickets
11th December: 1st T20I, Dubai
PAK 146-7 beat SRI 145-5 by 3 wickets
13th December: 2nd T20I, Dubai
SRI 211-3 beat PAK 187 by 24 runs
18th December: 1st ODI, Sharjah
PAK 322-5 beat SRI 311 by 11 runs
20th December: 2nd ODI, Dubai
SRI 287-8 beat PAK 284-4 by 2 wickets
22nd December: 3rd ODI, Sharjah
PAK 326-5 beat SRI 213 by 113 runs
25th December: 4th ODI, Abu Dhabi
PAK beat SRI by 8 wickets
27th December: 5th ODI, Abu Dhabi
SRI 235-8 beat PAK 232 by 2 wickets
31st December-4th January: 1st Test, Abu Dhabi
SRI 204 & 480-5d. drew with PAK 383 & 158-2
8th-12th January: 2nd Test, Dubai
SRI 388 & 137-1 beat PAK 165 & 359 by 9 wickets
16th-20th January: 3rd Test, Sharjah
PAk 341 & 302-5 beat SRI 428-9d. & 214 by 5 wicket