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Dec 18, 2013
Chasing 323, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 311 from 49.4 overs. Sri Lanka began the huge chase with a lot of caution, but failed to go past the target.
While veteran Tillakaratne Dilshan dropped the anchor, Kusal Perera took the attack to the opposition right from the start. Dilshan soon departed trying to pull Junaid Khan, in an attempt to up the ante for a rather nervy 30.
Perera was joined at the crease by the recently crowned ICC ODI Player of the year, Kumar Sangakkara. After a brisk partnership, centurion Mohammed Hafeez was yet again in the thick of things, trapping Perera leg-before after the southpaw had scored 64.
It was Shahid Afridi, however, who got the most crucial breakthrough as Sangakkara edged a wide ball to Umar Akmal. Afridi also went on to remove the mercurial Lahiru Thirimanne which put a significant dent to Sri Lanka’s prospects of chasing down such a mammoth total.
Dinesh Chandimal was joined by captain Angelo Matthews in the middle. Seeing the run rate creep a little over eight, Chandimal stepped out against the Pakistan bowlers and was given ample support by Matthews. The Sri Lankan duo amassed 73 in just 10.2 overs.
Chandimal was run out while trying to sneak though a cheeky single, thanks to some slick fielding by Saeed Ajmal off his own bowling. Soon after that, Pakistan triggered a collapse when Matthews was bowled off Junaid’s crafty left arm pace. Bilawal Bhatti sent back Thisara Perera leaving the Lankans tottering at 221/7.
With the required run rate crossing 10 at this stage, Sachithra Senanayake decided to take matters in his own hands with some lusty hits. Seekkuge Prasanna also did not hold back and took the Pakistan seamers to the cleaners.
Junaid and Tanvir, who were so disciplined in their first spell, was erratic and bowled far too short and were dispatched with utter disdain by the Sri Lankan duo.
With 14 required off the last over, Lasith Malinga was run out trying to scamper for the second run that would keep the big-hitting Prassana on strike. Junaid, this time cramped Prasanna and got him in the penultimate ball of the innings.
With the game looking done and dusted at one point, credit should be given to Prasanna and Senanayake for taking it to the last over.
The 34-year-old right-hander smashed 122 off 129 balls and was ably supported by Sohaib Maqsood (73) and debutant opener Sharjeel Khan (61) as Pakistan, who won the toss, capitalised on a mirror-like flat Sharjah stadium pitch, AFP reported.
Pakistan 322 for 5 in 50 overs (Sharjeel Khan 61, Mohammad Hafeez 122, Sohaib Maqsood 73, Shahid Afridi 34; Suranga Lakmal 2 for 73 ) beat Sri Lanka 311 in 49.4 overs (Kusal Perera 64, Dinesh Chandimal 46, Seekkuge Prasanna 42, Sachithra Senanayake 42; Junaid Khan 3 for 44) by 11 runs.
Also on cricketcountry.com