August 8th, 2009 by Ravi Matah | Posted in Sports   Comments Off on SRI LANKA vs PAKISTAN – 4th ODI
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Umar Akmal slammed an unbeaten 102 off 72 balls and Pakistan won the fourth ODI  by 146 runs on Friday to record their first victory over Sri Lanka.

Umar’s maiden international century was ably supported by Younus Khan  (89) as  Pakistan scored 321-5 after they elected to bat in the day-night match at the Premadasa stadium.

Younus and Umar came together to the crease when Pakistan’s score was 130 for four and shared between them a match winning partnership of 176 runs.

Umar hit four sixes and five boundaries in his well compiled 102* in  his third international.

Earlier, Pakistan made a sound start as Imran Nazir hit 23 in a first-wicket stand of 61 with Kamran Akmal by the 10th over

Kamran then put on 45 for the second wicket with Younus to lift Pakistan to 106-1, before the middle-order collapse saw three wickets fall for 24 runs.

Younus stayed defiant at the other end as Umar punished the Sri Lankan attack during a fifth-wicket partnership of 176 runs after Pakistan slipped to 130-4.

Sri Lanka had rested three main bowlers, Muttiah Muralitharan, Nuwan Kulasekara and Dilhara Fernando, and replaced them with Ajantha Mendis, Bandara and Malinga.

Sri Lanka already has the test series 2-0 and an invincible 3-1 lead in the 5 ODIs in their kitty and could afford to rest their key players.

Seamer Iftikhar then grabbed 5-30 as Sri Lanka was bowled out for 175 in 36.1 overs, giving Pakistan a face-saving win after they were beaten 2-0 in the Test series and lost the first three one-dayers.

Sri Lanka had started of well to achieve the huge target when they reached 101-1 in the 16th over, but lost their last nine wickets for just 74 runs.

Left-handed opener Upul Tharanga top-scored with 80 off 89 balls and skipper Kumar Sangakkara made 39, but none of the other top order batsmen were able to score sufficient runs.

Spinners Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal supported Iftikhar with two wickets each.

Leg-spinner Malinga Bandara,  making his first appearance in the series, bowled Kamran and trapped Misbah-ul-Haq leg-before to finish with two for 44 in 10 overs.

Lasith Malinga went for 79 runs without taking a wicket, while fellow paceman Thilan Thushara took two wickets for 74 runs.

Sri Lanka gave away 29 wides which also contributed well to Pakistan’s total.

Umar Akmal was declared the Man of the match.

The 5th and the final ODI will also be played here in Colombo on Sunday.

 Ravi Matah

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