Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews once again rebuilt the Sri Lankan innings © AFP
Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews once again rebuilt the Sri Lankan innings © AFP

By Rajarshi Majumdar

Aug 26, 2014

Thisara Perera (65) and Angelo Mathews (93) helped Sri Lanka set a challenging target of 311 runs against Pakistan in the second One-Day International (ODI) at Hambantota on Tuesday. Sri Lanka recovered well after being reduced to 62 for three in the 11th over, as Mathews and Mahela Jayawradene‘s 122 run stand helped them get back on track.

Sri Lanka started scoring briskly right from the start of their innings. Unfortunately, they lost the wicket of Tillakaratne Dilshan in the second over of their innings. It was a controversial decision. On field umpire Steve Davies turned down the appeal of Junaid Khan but Pakistan skipper decided to to challenge the decision. It was indeed a tough call for the third umpire, S Ravi but eventually Dilshan was given out. Upul Tharanga was timing the ball beautifully right from the onset. He got a start but was dismissed by a wonderful away going delivery from Wahab Riaz. Kumar Sangakkara too got off to a quick start but short balls have always troubled him earlier in the innings. He pulled one straight down the throat of the square leg fielder. Sri lanka was reduced to 62 for three in the 11th over.

Jayawardene and Mathews rebuilt the Sri Lankan innings from thereon. Jayawardene played the attacking role whereas Mathews kept on rotating the strike. The scoreboard kept on ticking. Sri Lanka maintained a run rate of above five an over throughout the innings. Mohammad Hafeez dismissed Jayawardene in the 34th over. Jayawardene was looking good right from the moment he came into bat. Mathews and Jayawardene had a plan in their mind and they executed it to perfection. After Jayawardene got out, Sri Lanka lost two more wickets quickly. Ashan Priyanjan who came in handy in the slog overs in the first ODI got out cheaply to Hafeez. Seekkuge Prasanna too was caught in front of the wicket by Hafeez.

The run rate came down and the boundaries had dried up for Sri Lanka. But Thisara Perera and Mathews lined themsleves up for an attack in the slog overs. The bowlers struggled to find the current line and length. Perera smashed a quickfire 65 in 36 balls towards the end of the innings giving Sri Lanka an edge in this match. He hammered five fours and four sixes in the innings. Hafeez was the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan as he bagged three wickets and he only gave away 39 runs in his 10 overs. Wahab Riaz bowled with some fiery pace upfront and troubled the Sri Lankan batsmen. He picked up four wickets but was hit for plenty in his later overs.

Sri Lankan bowlers would not like to repeat the same mistakes that they committed in the first ODI at the same venue. Pakistan have enough reinforcements to chase this score down. This is a flat pitch and has nothing for the bowlers. The bowlers will have to bowl well in order to defend their total. Numbers are in Lanka’s favour as no team has ever chased more than 300 in Sri Lanka.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 310 for 7 in 50 overs (Mahela Jayawardene 67, Angelo Mathews 93, Thisara Perera 65; Wahab Riaz 4 for 65, Mohammad Hafeez 3 for 39) vs Pakistan.

Full Scorecard

Complete coverage of Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka here

(Rajarshi Majumdar is a reporter at CricketCountry. He played cricket for all age levels under the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) for over 12 years. Apart from cricket he is an avid follower of football, supports Manchester United and a foodie at heart.)