July 30th, 2009 by Ravi Matah | Posted in Sports   Comments Off on SRI LANKA vs PAKISTAN – IST ODI
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Pakistan captain Younus Khan won the toss and elected to field at the Rangiri International Stadium.

Sri Lanka recovered from an initial top-order failure and managed to post a fighting total of  232-9 in the first one-day international against Pakistan at Dambulla on Thursday.

 All-rounder Angelo Mathews (43) led the late surge, with the last four Sri Lankan wickets adding 101 valuable runs before the 50 overs ran out.

Sangakara had earlier contributed a valuable 36 runs. Star spinner Muttiah Muralitharan  showed his batting prowess with an aggressive 32 off 15 balls that included four boundaries and a six.

Pakistan had made good use of winning the toss taking the fist five Sri Lankan wickets for 125. At that stage of the match Pakistan were looking good, but Sri Lankan tail-end batting resistance led by Angelo Mathews took Sri Lanka to a defending total. Mathews made 43 from 50 balls, and added 42 with Nuwan Kulasekara, followed by a good knock from Muttiah Muralitharan, took Sri Lanka past 200. Sri Lanka took the batting Powerplay only in the 45th over and 54 runs were scored in those five overs.

Mathews and Kulasekara batted well, scoring in singles and twos before the Powerplay was taken. The final flourish did the rest, as Afridi and Gul were taken apart.

Sangakkara and Jayawardene had added 48 in quick time after a slow start to the innings. Sri Lanka were 232 for 9 in the allotted 50 overs giving Pakistan a target of 233 to win

Pakistan could have achieved the target as at one stage were 43 for 2 and  the asking rate then, was only 4.7 runs per over, and was apparently achievable. Pakistan batsman are themselves to blame for poor shot selection.

Nuwan Kulasekara and Thilan Thushara scraped through Pakistan’s top order taking five wickets between them, and by the halfway stage;  the visitors’ were 73 for 5. With Muttiah Muralitharan bowling superbly, Pakistan faced an uphill struggle to reach the target.

Two spells from the pace bowlers. Kulasekara in particular,  started troubling Shoaib Malik outside his off stump.  Pakistan managed to make some runs, thanks to a couple of drives from Kamran Akmal but Malik was out as he was  bowled playing down the wrong line.

Thushara struck with his very first delivery. Akmal also played down the wrong line to one that deviated little, and saw his timber shattered. Mohammad Yousuf then chased a wide one from Kulasekara, Pakistan had then slumped to 48 for 3.

Shahid Afridi injected some energy into proceedings. He started of well but unnecessarily sliced  Thushara that ended his innings at 27.
Pakistan could muster only 196 runs in 44.4  overs and lost by 36 runs.

Muttiah Muralitharan was named the Man of the match.

Sri Lanka had already won the three test series 2-0, the third test being drawn and are sufficiently pumped up with today’s victory.

Ravi Matah

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