Friday, August 7, 2009

Pakistan thrashed Sri Lanka

Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka by 146 runs in the fourth ODI in Colombo on Friday thanks to an Umar Akmal century.

Ifthikar Anjum claimed the key wickets of opener Upul Tharanga (80), Kumar Sangakkara (39) and Thilan Samaraweera (two) and snared Thilan Thushara and Lasith Malinga at the end.

Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal and leg-spinner Shahid Afridi also chipped in with two wickets apiece as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 175 runs inside 37 overs.
Umar Akmal had earlier slammed a quickfire 102 off 72 deliveries - the 19-year-old's maiden ODI century - to ensure Pakistan made the best of good batting conditions to post a formidable 321 for five.

Sri Lanka's chase under lights was undermined by the cheap dismissal of makeshift opener Mahela Jayawardene (19) and although Sangakkara and Tharanga continued a spirited pursuit with a 65-run stand for the second wicket, Pakistan exerted control thanks to a strong performance from their spinners.

Jayawardene, who had ensured Sri Lanka's series win with a century in the previous match, had begun with a superb cover-drive and had quickly progressed to 19 when he was lured into a hook shot by Naved-ul Hasan.

Jayawardene, however, miscued and instead skied to Mohammad Aamer at fine leg.
Sangakkara took up the chase and clubbed Aamer for three consecutive blows in one over even as he handled the other fast bowlers adroitly.

But Ifthikar, who had leaked plenty of runs earlier, snared the Sri Lankan skipper although his delivery was innocuous.

Sangakkara chipped straight to Imran Nazir at backward point, the stroke ending a 33-delivery innings.

Sri Lanka's chase then unravelled as the middle-order crumbled under pressure from Pakistan's spinners.

An out-of-sorts Thilina Kandamby was Ifthikar's first victim, caught at slip by Younus Khan, while Naved claimed a spectacular catch in the deep to send back Chamara Kapugedera (eight).

Ifthikar then removed Samaraweera, before ending the lone resistance from Tharanga and finished with the wicket of Malinga to bring up victory for the visitors.
Earlier, Kamran Akmal had earlier given the visitors a cracking start, hitting 57 and putting on 61 for the opening wicket - Pakistan's best in the series - with Nazir (23).

Nazir, playing his first match since severing ties with the Indian Cricket League, had begun on a shaky note, a caught behind appeal turned down by umpire Gamini Silva when on seven, although replays suggested he had under-edged Thushara to Sangakkara.
He then survived two good shouts for leg before, both off Malinga's trademark yorkers, but perished just inside the mandatory powerplay when he was bowled off a low full toss from Thushara.

Kamran piled on the runs with a flood of boundaries and quickly closed in on his third half-century, reaching the mark with a boundary to fine third-man off Angelo Mathews.

He added 45 for the second wicket with Younus before Sri Lanka's spinners Malinga Bandara and Ajantha Mendis struck.

Leg spinner Bandara, included at the expense of fast bowler Nuwan Kulasekara, produced the breakthrough in his second over by bowling Kamran, while Mendis snared Mohammad Yousuf for just six.

Bandara returned to dismiss Misbah-ul Haq cheaply as Pakistan crashed from 106 for one to 130 for four.

The run rate dipped steeply but Younus and Umar revived the innings with a stand that flourished from the start.

The two accelerated through the batting powerplay, Umar looking particularly dangerous as he clubbed Malinga for a four and a six in the 46th over, which yielded a total of 21.

Younus then miscued a shot and was caught in the deep, but Umar went on to reach his century - off overthrows - as the visitors clubbed 64 runs from the final five overs.

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