Dubai - Sri Lanka's late order batsmen have held their nerve to beat Pakistan by
two wickets and level the series in a match in which fortunes swung from
one side to another in Dubai on Friday.
Set 285 to chase, Sri
Lanka needed 16 off the last two overs and four off the final, as number
ten batsman Sachitra Senanayake drove Shahid Afridi for boundary to
seal a tense win for his team with two balls to spare.
The win levelled the five-match series at 1-1 after Pakistan won the first match by 11 runs in Sharjah on Wednesday.
Shehzad smashed a career best 124 off 140 balls for his fourth one-day
century as Pakistan posted a challenging 284-4 in 50 overs after being
sent in to bat.
Sri Lanka needed 44 off the last six overs as
Angelo Mathews (47) and Dimuth Karunaratne (16 not out) held their
nerves during a match-turning 44-run stand for the eighth wicket.
Lanka had set themselves up nicely at 159-2 with Kumar Sangakkara (58)
and Dinesh Chandimal (44) before Mathews came into his own.
on 29, Sangakkara completed 12,000 one-day runs in his 359th match. He
is the fourth batsmen to score 12,000 or more runs in the one-day chart
led by now retired Sachin Tendulkar of India (18,426 in 463 matches)
followed by Australian Ricky Ponting (13,704 in 375) and Sri Lankan
Sanath Jayasuriya (13,430 in 445).
Sangakkara reached his 82nd
half-century off 54 balls but eight runs later played Ajmal onto his
stumps. In all he hit four boundaries and a six off 67 balls.
Lanka were off to a swift 48-run start by Tillakaratne Dilshan (40) and
Kusal Perera (16) before both fell run out to leave Sri Lanka 65-2.
With the ball hard to grip for the spinners as dew fell, Sangakkara and Chandimal added 94 for the third wicket.
Nuwan Kulasekara chipped in with a 33-ball 32 with two sixes and three fours to up the scoring in the final overs.