Thisara Perera picked up four wickets against Pakistan in the 3rd ODI at Dambulla on Saturday © AFP
Thisara Perera picked up four wickets against Pakistan in the 3rd ODI at Dambulla on Saturday © AFP

By Rajarshi Majumdar

Aug 30, 2014

A good all-round performance from Sri Lanka demolished Pakistan for 102 runs in 32.1 overs in the third and final One-Day International (ODI) at Dambulla on Saturday. The pitch looked like a belter initially but Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq misread the pitch and chose to bat. Angelo Mathews said during the toss that it did not matter to them whether they bat first or second they just needed to play cricket and so the did. Thisara Perera was outstanding right from the onset. He picked up four wickets and was equally good in the outfield. Pakistan kept on losing wickets at regular intervals.

The conditions looked a little overcast but it was a good pitch to bat on. There was a steep breeze blowing across the ground. The Lankan bowlers did an excellent job to hold on to their respective actions and pitch all the balls in good length areas. Dhammika Prasad generated some serious pace and bounce. He only gave away 25 runs in his first spell and picked up two wickets. Lasith Malinga was on song as well. He picked up the all important wicket of Mohammad Hafeez.

When Pakistan were reeling at 14 for three in the eighth over, Misbah came into bat. Fawad Alam was batting at the other end. He was sent ahead of Umar Akmal, who prefers batting at no 6 position. Alam and Misbah ran through the powerplay without losing any wicket and somehow scored their runs in singles. They were trying to build a partnership which Pakistan needed at that moment. In order to rotate the strike Misbah called for a single which was never there. The ball went to Tillakaratne Dilshan who went for the direct hit and he ran Misbah out.

Umar Akmal got out to a short ball from Thisara Perera immediately after Misbah was dismissed. He was in no position to play that shot and Malinga took a blinder in the mid-wicket region. Sohaib Maqsood satrted off on a good note. He was timing the ball well until a bodyline bouncer from Perera brsuhed his gloves on it’s way to Kumar Sangakkara. Shahid Afridi went on to hit from the very first ball but failed abjectly. Seekkuge Prasanna lined him and once again Perera took a good running catch at the deep cover boundary. Perera got the wicket of Wahab Riaz too immediately after Afridi was dismissed. A bit unfortunate as he could not review the decision as Pakistan ran out of reviews.

Fawad Alam fought a lone battle as he read the conditions well and kept on ticking the scoreboard but he never got the support from the other end that was required. The Lankans were brilliant on the field and never let anything slip. Malinga and Prasad set it up nicely for Sri Lanka initially. Pakistani batsmen were never comfortable with the short pitch deliveries and Sri Lankan exposed their weakness and ran through the bating line up.

Brief scores:

Pakistan 102 in 32.1 overs ( Ahmed Shehzad 10, Misbah-ul-Haq 18, Fawad Alam 38*; Dhammika Prasad 2 for 25, Thisara Perera 4 for 29) vs Sri Lanka.

Photo Gallery of the match

Full Scorecard

Complete coverage of Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka 2014 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.)