|Ground:||R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo|
|Scorecard:||Sri Lanka v Pakistan|
|Player:||Naved-ul-Hasan, Mohammad Aamer, Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan|
|Event:||Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2009|
DateLine: 9th August 2009
Pakistan scored their second consecutive win in the ODI series to wrap up their one day leg of the tour with a consolation win. Chasing a challenging target of 280 in their fifty overs, the Lankan batting wilted under pressure for the second time in succession.
Pakistan had won the toss and elected to bat first on a track that offered lot of runs to the batsmen. Pakistan was off to a horror start as Kamran Akmal was adjudged leg before by Gamini de Silva off the first ball of the Pakistan innings. It was very evident that the decision was a flawed one as there was a thick inside edge as the ball crashed onto the pads of Akmal and the look on the batsmenís face said it all. Younis Khan entered the arena sooner than he would have liked and he had to bring in all his experience to take the side out off the mess. Imran Nazir at the other end was off to a flier as he clattered Dammika Prasad for three consecutive boundaries in the second over of the innings. Nazir was not over yet as in the sixth over of the innings just when the run rate began to fall down he once again got into Prasad to prop up the run rate with two consecutive boundaries. Prasad in his three overs had gone for thirty runs and Kulasekara who was till then economical felt the fury of Nazir as he too was send packing to the third man fence. Nazir raced to 35 off 21 balls and he was looking set more runs.
Sangakkara took a gamble as he called on Mendis in the eighth over of the match to try and put a lid on the run-rate. Nazir tried to turn Mendis through midwicket but was hit right in front off the middle stump and the umpire had no issues in sending Nazir back to the pavilion. That wicket brought Mohammad Yousuf to the crease and both Younis and Yousuf set about rebuilding the innings in their serene style. Yousuf was the aggressor off the two as he found the boundaries while Younis who till then looked stuck in a rut began to collect the ones and twos. Yousuf was lazy elegance as he drove the Sri Lankan fielders to distraction with his elegant text book drives down the ground while Younis took every opportunity available to steal a single and if possible try and convert it into a double.
The pair was really looking dangerous and it looked like they would help Pakistan run away with the match when Sangakkara seeing that most of his options have being exhausted gave the ball to the veteran Jayasuriya. Jayasuriya struck in his third over when he got Yousuf to give a thin edge to Sangakkara behind the stumps thus ending a threatening partnership of 68 between the two senior batsmen. Mohammad Yousuf had scored a well-paced 43 of 55 balls with five hits to the fence. Misbah-ul-Haq joined his captain in the middle and the rebuilding process had to be restarted. Younis Khan meanwhile picked up his pace as he found the boundary ropes more often. With Misbah being quicker between the wickets when compared to Yousuf, Younis Khan had no issues in going for the tight singles. The pair raised their fifty run partnership in 7.5 overs and the run-rate began to pick up. The pair began to collect the boundaries off the spinners and when the mandatory ball change occurred in the 34th over of the innings, Sangakkara handed the ball to Prasad.
Off the fourth ball of the 35th over there was a huge appeal when Younis Khan played and missed an outswinger from Prasad which was not given by the umpire. That caused a heated exchange of words between the two skippers with Younis Khan looking more cheerful while Sangakkara was fuming. Finally, a yorker from Prasad sneaked through the bat of Younis Khan to clean him up. He departed for a well-made 76 off 100 balls with five hits to the fence. Both he and Misbah added 83 in 14 overs and the stage was set for the final assault. Akmal and Afridi fell fairly quickly without doing much damage to the scorecard and it seemed that the wheels were coming off. Misbah was joined by Rana Naved and the pair added 19 runs before the batting Powerplay was taken. When the Powerplay was taken, the pair pressed the accelerator and runs began to come in avalanche. Rana took it upon himself to go over the top and he twice sent the ball across the boundary ropes. The pair added 60 for the seventh wicket in 9.2 overs pushing the Pakistani score to a challenging 279.
Sri Lanka got off to a horror start as Mohammad Aamer produced a gem of a delivery which took off from a length which caught the top half off the bat and went to Umar Akmal at second slip. Jayawardene crashed a couple of boundaries and Jayasuriya joined the party by collecting a boundary for himself. But Naved-ul-Hasan foxed the left handed veteran with a well-disguised slower ball which got the leading edge to Misbah at first slip and Sri Lanka slipped to 19 for the loss of two wickets. Sangakkara joined Jayawardene at the crease and the Lankan hopes were hinged on these two veterans.
The pair added 35 for the third wicket but once again Navedís slower ball acme to the fore as Sangakkara got a leading edge to Afridi at covers. Jayawardene got out to a very poor shot as he chased a wide one from Aamer, and the resultant edge was taken by Akmal and after a couple of balls Kapugedera edged to Misbah at first slip off Aamer. Mathews was the next one to go as he chased a wide one from Aamer to keeper Akmal to give the bowler his fourth wicket. Kulasekara followed his colleagues back to the pavilion when he edged to Misbah off the bowling of Naved and Prasad was cleaned up by the same bowler to claim his fourth wicket of the innings. The Sri Lankan score read an embarrassing 74 for the loss of eight wickets in 15.5 overs and it seemed that the Lankan team would struggle to cross the 100 run mark.
Kandamby still remained in the middle and he was joined by Bandara and the two began to give some respectability to the score. The pair slowly scored their runs in ones and twos as the Pakistani bowlers seemed to relax their approach, sensing that there will be no attempt at creating a miracle. The pair added 71 in 15 overs before Afridi ended the resistance when he had Bandara stumped and then proceeded to remove last man Mendis when he edged to Misbah at slip to give him his fourth catch off the innings.
View all Current Events CLICK HERE