Dec 25, 2013
Sri Lanka were bowled out for 225 in the fourth One Day International (ODI) against Pakistan at Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Half-centuries by Kumar Sangakkara (51) and debutant Ashan Priyanjan (74) helped the Lankans to recover after early flurry of wickets.
In a must-win encounter, Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews this time elected to bat unlike the previous match where their decision of fielding turned out to be a nightmare after Mohammad Hafeez and other batsmen plundered their bowlers all around. Less than 10 overs into the match, Sri Lanka were on the backfoot again with three wickets down for 36 runs.
Umar Gul who made an impressive comeback in the previous ODI after an injury layoff, continued his good form dismissing the top order (Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Perera, Dinesh Chandimal). From thereon, Sangakkara and debutant Priyanjan resurrected the batting and soon looked comfortable against the Pakistan attack. While Sangakkara completed his half-century, Priyanjan played a matured innings as well to become the third Sri Lankan to score a half-century on debut.
It looked like the partnership will propel the Lankans to a healthy score but a miscommunication between the two batsmen led to the dismissal of Sangakkara. The experienced left-hander was eager to take a tight single playing the ball on towards point. However, the tentative thought proved to be costly for Lankans as Sangakkara was run-out by substituted fielder Anwar Ali for 51. Their 89-run partnership had given Sri Lankans a platform to take things forward.
The debutant then shared a 40-run partnership with skipper Mathews. Priyanjan was finally dismissed by Junaid Khan with a good length delivery that knocked his off-stump down. He scored 74 valuable runs for his team in 93 balls which included 10 boundaries. From 165 for five, it was Saeed Ajmal’s turn t break the Lankan resistance. He dismissed Nuwan Kulasekara (1) cheaply and followed it up with the wicket of Mathews (38) and Sachithra Senanayake (0).
Except for a 27 by Kithuruwan Vithanage there was not much resistance from the lower order as they were bowled out for 225 in 48.5 overs.
While Gul ripped through the top order with three for 37, Ajmal broke the lower order with 4 for 39.
With kind of form Hafeez is in, Pakistan will back themselves to chase this target down and hope for another good start from their in-form opener.
Sri Lanka 225 in 48.5 overs (Ashan Priyanjan 74, Kumar Sangakkara 51; Umar Gul 3 for 37, Saeed Ajmal 4 for 39) vs Pakistan.
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