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By Rajarshi Majumdar
Aug 26, 2014
Sri lanka beat Pakistan by 77 runs in the second One-Day International at Hambantota and thereby squaring the series. It was an all-round performance by the Lankans. Pakistan went off to a flier at the start of their innings. Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez looked extremely efficient and they added 95 runs in tandem. They were well aware of the required run rate and were keeping at par with it. But unfortunately they kept losing wickets at regular intervals and the momentum shifted towards the Lankans.
Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews was trying a lot of things but nothing was working for him until Rangana Herath and his fellow spinners tighten the screws. The run rate came below five an over. The required rate kept on rising. Pakistan’s middle-order failed yet again, leaving too much for the tail to cover. Fawad Alam fought well for his thirty but it was all for a lost cause. Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul- Haq threw his wicket away ata crucial point and Umar Akmal too got out cheaply.
Earlier in the day, Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews’s respective innings help Sri Lanka to set a challenging target of 310 runs against Pakistan in the 2nd One-Day International (ODI) at Hambantota on Tuesday. Sri Lanka recovered well after being reduced to 62/3 in the 11th over, as Mathews and Jayawradene’s 122 run stand helped them get back on track.
Mahela 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 over 5 runs 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.
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 towards the end of the innings giving Sri Lanka an edge in this match. Hafeez was the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan as he picked of 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 Lanka 310 for 7 in 50 overs (Mahela Jayawardene 67, Angelo Mathews 93, Thisara Perera 64; Wahab Riaz 4 for 65, Mohammad Hafeez 3 for 39) beat Pakistan (Ahmed Shehzad 56, Mohammad Hafeez 62; Rangana Herath 2 for 38, Seekkuge Prasanna 2 for 36, Thisra Perera 3 for 19)by 77 runs.
Man of the match: Thisara Perera
(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.)
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