Mathews helps Sri Lanka clinch thriller; Pak loses ODI series

Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:43 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Angelo Mathews stroked an unbeaten 76 balls 80 to guide Sri Lanka to a two wicket victory over Pakistan with two balls to spare in the fifth and the final One Day International played at R. Premadasa stadium in Colombo last night.

Sri Lanka won the series 3-1 after they sensationally clinched the fifth ODI. One game of the series was washed out.

Pakistan were looking to win this game and level the series. Mathews was declared man of the match whilst Thisara Perera was awarded the Man of the Series prize.

Sohail Tanvir picked up two quick wickets early in the second innings of the match. However, Kumar Sangakkara and Dinesh Chandimal stabilised the innings for Sri Lanka before a flurry of quick wickets again turned the match in favour of Pakistan.

Earlier, Imran Farhat and Umar Akmal struck half-centuries to guide Pakistan to 247.

Sri Lankan bowlers picked up wickets at regular intervals to keep a check on the scoring rate of Pakistan and deny them from constructing any substantial partnership.

Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq and Misbah-ul-Haq got off to a good start but couldn’t convert them into substantially big scores. All three of them got out while batting in their 30’s.

Nuwan Kulasekara and Jeevan mendis picked up two wickets each.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq had won the toss and had elected to bat first.

The Hindu reported that aided by some rank poor fielding, Sri Lanka helped itself to a series win over Pakistan in the five match one-day international series at the R.Premadasa stadium.

Set to get 248 by Pakistan, Sri Lanka got there with two balls to spare, in a final match with quite some drama. The result was never in doubt because Pakistan was lavish in granting any wish of the opposition – extras, dropped catches, undeserved runs were all gifted away.

If any other team in World Cricket allowed the opposition to convert so many 2s into 4s, and nones into 1s, it would have been under scrutiny for attempting to throw the match away. Not Pakistan.

The one day international at the R.Premadasa stadium here saw some acrobatic fielding from Sri Lanka, and some unbelievably shoddy fielding on the part of Pakistan.

It is unlikely that Sohail Tanvir, despite his wickets haul, will be part of any other national team. Out on the boundary, he fielded like most of us amateurs do – trying to stop it with the feet, and, in the process, kicking it over the fence. Twice, he converted 2s into 4s. There was much sloppiness in bowling too: bowlers on both sides, put together, minus Sohail, gave away 7 wides. Sohail Tanvir gave away seven all by himself.

Sri Lanka began badly in reply. Both openers, T.M.Dilshan (10) and Upul Tharanga (2) went with the score reading 19. Kumar Sangakkara (40) and Dinesh Chandimal (54) began the process of re-building the innings. But with the score on 97, tried to block the ball and steal a single. Unfortunately for him, the wicket keeper Sarfraz Ahamed was too quick, and Sangakkara was stumped. Anjelo Mathews (80 not out), paired with the later order batsmen, to take Sri Lanka home.

Earlier, riding on half-centuries from opener Imran Farhat (56) and Umar Akmal (55 not out), Pakistan reached 247 for the loss of seven wickets

All the frontline batsmen barring Mohammad Hafeez contributed – the top run getting this series, Azhar Ali chipped in with 30, while Asad Shafiq (38), Captain Misbah-ul-Haq (32) made sure that Pakistan kept up the momentum that was achieved in the first few overs.

Pakistan dropped Younis Khan and Saeed Ajmal and elected to bat after winning the toss on Monday. Imran Farhat took Younis Khan’s place and Ajmal made way for Mohammad Sami, who has been declared fit.

For Sri Lanka, Jeevan Mendis gets a look in, ahead of Sanjeeva Weerakoon, who made his debut in the washed out third one-day international; and was not threatening in the fourth. Mendis acquitted his selection, picking up two wickets, and bowling a tight nine overs.