Sri Lanka pull off thrilling win
Abu Dhabi - Dinesh Chandimal kept his nerve to pull off a sensational
two-wicket win for Sri Lanka in the fifth and final one-dayer in Abu Dhabi on
Friday, but Pakistan took the five-match series 3-2.
Chandimal finished with 64 not out off 70 balls and added a match-turning 40
runs for the ninth wicket with Ajantha Mendis (19 not out) to see Sri Lanka
through with two balls to spare.
Mendis hit the winning boundary and smashed one of the two sixes in Umar
Gul's penultimate over which cost Pakistan 15 runs and the match.
Chandimal hit his only boundary to reach fifty before hitting a six off Gul
to clinch an unlikely win after Sri Lanka had wobbled at 195-8, derailed by
Junaid Khan (3-31) and Saeed Ajmal (2-43).
Sri Lanka, who chased down a 285-run target in their second one-day win in
Dubai, were cruising along at 113-1 after Kusal Perera (47) and Tillakaratne Dilshan
(45) gave them a brisk start of 75.
Perera was aggressive right from the word go, hitting four sixes and three
boundaries in his 40-ball knock, but was trapped leg-before by Mohammad Hafeez
after he attempted a reverse sweep.
When on 31, Dilshan completed 8 000 one-day runs, becoming the sixth Sri
Lankan to achieve the milestone.
But Sri Lanka then lost three quick wickets in the space of just 24 runs,
two of those to Junaid.
Junaid had Dilshan caught behind and bowled Kumar Sangakkara (22) round his
legs to complete 50 wickets in the calendar year.
Gul accounted for Ashan Priyanjan (one) while skipper Angelo Mathews's
laborious 31-ball eight was ended by paceman Anwar Ali before Chandimal's
"We were just good enough to win the game," said Mathews.
"Once again, a little disappointed with the batsmen who got starts but
didn't go from there. Mendis came to the party, along with Chandimal, and got
us over the line."
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq said the series win was satisfying.
"Our team is in good shape," said Misbah.
"Of course, it's disappointing to lose the last match but overall I am
happy the way team won the series."
Earlier, Misbah top-scored with 51 while in-form batsman Hafeez, who scored
three centuries in the series, made 41 as Pakistan were bowled out for 232 in
the 50th over.
Anwar Ali chipped in with a fiery 38-ball 41 not out spiced with one six and
Pakistan found the going tough after openers Ahmed Shehzad (17) and Sharjeel
Khan (18) by 13th over.
Lasith Malinga made it 70-3 by dismissing Sohaib Maqsood (seven) before
Misbah and Hafeez shared a 58-run stand for the fourth wicket before the
innings once again was derailed.
Hafeez was bowled by Angelo Mathews after his 56-ball knock with two
boundaries. He finished the series with 448 runs with three hundreds.
Malinga then came into his own, sending Misbah back caught behind and then
trapped Abdul Rehman (one) to leave Pakistan struggling at 176-7.
Malinga finished with 4-57.
Misbah hit two boundaries and a six during his 74-ball knock, finishing with
1 371 runs in 34 one-day matches this year - the most by any player.
The two teams now play a three-match Test series, with the first in Abu
Dhabi from December 31.