Butt, Iftikhar help Pakistan tame Sri Lanka
by AFP

Ground:National Stadium, Karachi
Scorecard:Pakistan v Sri Lanka
Player:TM Dilshan, KC Sangakkara, Khurram Manzoor, Salman Butt, Iftikhar Anjum, Umar Gul
Event:Sri Lanka in Pakistan 2008/09

DateLine: 20th January 2009


Opener Salman Butt hit a sparkling century and paceman Rao Iftikhar returned career-best bowling figures as Pakistan crushed Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the first day-night international here Tuesday.


The left-handed Butt scored a 117-ball 100 and put on a solid 168-run opening stand with Khurram Manzoor (83) as the home team chased down a modest target of 220 with 4.1 overs to spare at the National Stadium.


The win gave Pakistan a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. The second match will also be played here Wednesday. The final match is in Lahore Saturday.


Sri Lanka, who were bowled out for 219 in 45.2 overs, failed to put up a solid resistance and their celebrated spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis were rendered ineffective by Pakistan's aggressive approach.


Mendis, who was tipped to dominate the home batsmen after taking four wickets against Pakistan and six against India in Sri Lanka's Asia Cup win here last year, failed to live up to the billing, finishing with 41-0.


The 24-year-old Butt, who reached his eighth one-day hundred with a single, hit 13 boundaries in his 117-ball knock.


Manzoor, who scored his previous best of 69 against the West Indies in Abu Dhabi last year, hit nine boundaries off 128-balls before he gave a return catch to Muralitharan with just 52 needed for victory.


Younis Khan fell for 20, but Shoaib Malik (11) helped Butt wiped off the target.


Earlier, Iftikhar (4-42) and Umar Gul (3-30) demolished the Sri Lankan middle and late order to derail them after the visitors won the toss and decided to bat.


The 28-year-old Iftikhar removed top-scorer Kumar Sangakkara (49), skipper Mahela Jayawardene (one) and Thilan Thushara (nought) after Gul removed openers Tillakaratne Dilshan (42) and Sanath Jayasuriya (38) to derail the tourists.


Dilshan, included in the team after his twin hundreds in a Test against Bangladesh earlier this month, was dropped at 17 off paceman Akhtar, who went wicketless in his seven overs.


Dilshan hit seven boundaries off 33 deliveries before Gul had him caught by Butt off a miscued hook.


Sangakkara held the innings through a 54-run fourth wicket stand with Chamara Kapugedera, who made 27. Sangakkara hit four boundaries during his 70-ball knock.


Iftikhar dismissed Sangakkara in his second spell to improve on his previous best of 4-59 against the West Indies at Abu Dhabi last year.


Nuwan Kulasekara chipped in with a useful 24.

(Article: Copyright © 2009 AFP)


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