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Tuesday, 19 June 2012






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Magnificent Mathews brings Sri Lanka victory

Sri Lanka win ODI series 3-1 :

A magnificent unbeaten knock of 80 with four fours and two sixes by Vice Captain and player of the match, Angelo Mathews helped Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by two wickets with two balls to spare and take the ODI series 3-1 under lights at the R.Premadasa Stadium, yesterday.

It was great thinking by skipper Mahela Jayawardena to drop Sanjeewa Weerakoon and play all rounder Jeevan Mendis. He did so to strengthen the batting if Sr  Lanka had to chase.

Mendis obliged in style and justified his inclusion with 19 and a stand of 37 with Mathews for the 8th wicket which put Sri Lanka on the road to victory. Then Mathews and Nuwan Kulesekera 10 put on 36 for the 9th wicket to secure an exciting victory.

When Sri Lanka chased a target of 248 for victory, it was paramount that the three big batting guns Tillekeratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena fire to get there.

The first gun was silenced when Sohail Tanvir bowling good pace knocked back Tillekeratne Dilshan’s leg stump with a stunning Yorker for 10 at 18 and then the bowler sent Upul Thranga’s off stump cart wheeling for 2 at 19. It was not the start the Lankans were looking for.

The second gun Kumar Sangakkara fired, but not sufficiently for 40 with 3 fours in 68 balls and at 97 was stumped off Afridi and then the gun that could have destroyed the opposition Mahela Jayawardena was silenced.

Next ball Afridi caught and bowled him with a slow ball for no score at the same score 97. Dinesh Chandimal played a plucky innings making 54 with 4 fours in 74 balls.

The early morning showers had not affected the ground nor the wicket and when Captains Mahela Jayawardena and Misba Ul-Haq walked out to spin the coin the sun was shining.

Misbah was lucky with the toss this time and elected to bat. Pakistan made two changes shedding Younis Khan and Saeed Ajmal and bringing in Imran farahat and Mohammed Sami. Sri Lanka tinkered with the winning team.

They dropped left arm spinner Sajeewa Weerakoon who made his debut in the previous game and tossed in leg spinning all rounder Jeevan Mendis adding muscle to the batting if they were to chase. Pity when one considers the dropping of Weerakoon. However he must be thankful for small mercies.

The dropping of Khan whose form has been wretched did not come as a surprise. Off spinner Ajmal has won many matches for the Pakistanis and his dropping was inexplicable.

The wicket which was covered played easy and Mohammed Hafeez and Imran Farhat gave them a fair start putting on 22, before Hafeez who has not been having a good series was bowled through the gate by a Kulesekera inswinger for 6.

But it was left hander Farhat who provided the sparks that was missing in the Pakistani batting. He raced to his 12th fifty in ODI cricket in 56 balls hitting 9 well timed boundaries. His square driving was exquisite.

When Farhat and Azhar Ali had put on 60 in 73 balls and seemed to be going strong, it was that man Thisara ‘Midas’ Perera again.

Everything he touches seems to be turning to gold these days.

It was he broke the threatening stand when he induced Farhat to pull a short ball to Dinesh Chandimal who took a well judged catch at mid wicket. He made 56 in 63 balls.

Pakistan lost Azhar Ali for 30 in 49 balls, Asad Shafiq for 38 in 46 balls when Misbah and Umar Akmal hurried the scoring putting on 61 runs in as many balls, before Misbah trying to hoist Mendis out of the ground found Perera taking the catch at mid wicket. Misbah made 32 in 48 balls.

Sahid Afridi who is hopelessly out of form went for 9 and Sohail Tanvir made 11. But the best batting of the innings came from right hander Umar Akmal who found form at last. He was in a belligerent mood and raced to his 15th ODI 50 in 49 balls with 5 fours and two massive sixes off Thisara Perera. He remained unbeaten on 55 when the innings ended at 247 for 7 in 50. It was a competitive score.

Of the Sri Lankan bowlers Nuwan Kulesekera had 2 for 53 and Jeevan Mendis 2 for 30. The Sri Lankan fielding was excellent, especially on the ground although one catch was dropped by Upul Tharanga.


Imran Farhat c Chandimal b Perera 		56
Mohammad Hafeez b Kulasekara 		 	 6
Azhar Ali c Thirimanne b Mendis 		30
Asad Shafiq run out 				38
Misbah ul-Haq c Perera b Mendis 		32
Umar Akmal not out 				55
Shahid Afridi c Jayawardene b Kulasekara 	9
Sohail Tanvir c Tharanga b Malinga 		11
Umar Gul not out 				2
Extras (b2, lb3, w3) 				8
(for seven wickets; 50 overs)			247
Fall of wickets: 1-22 (Hafeez), 2-82 (Farhat), 3-113 (Ali), 4-146 (Shafiq), 
5-207 (Misbah), 6-229 (Afridi), 7-244 (Tanvir)
 Bowling: Malinga 10-1-52-1 (w1), Kulasekara 10-1-53-2, Mathews 10-0-41-0,
 Dilshan 3-0-12-0, Perera 8-0-54-1 (w1), Mendis 9-0-30-2 (w1).
Sri Lanka
U. Tharanga b Tanvir 			2
T. Dilshan b Tanvir 			10
 K. Sangakkara st Ahmed b Afridi 	40
D. Chandimal c Sami b Hafeez 		54
M. Jayawardene c and b Afridi 		0
A. Mathews not out 			80
T. Perera run out 			0
L. Thirimanne run out 			11
J. Mendis c Shafiq b Tanvir 		19
N. Kulasekara not out 			10
Extras (lb10, w12) 			22
Total (for eight wickets; 49.4 overs) 	248
Fall of wickets: 1-18, 2-19, 3-97, 4-97, 5-135, 6-138, 7-175, 8-212.
Bowling: Gul 10-1-43-0, Tanvir 10-0-42-3 (w7), 
Hafeez 10-0-30-1, Sami 9.4-0-75-0 (w2), Afridi 10-0-48-2 (w3).



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