Clinical Lanka cut Pakistan to size

Sri Lanka experienced mid-innings doldrums as they could not exactly capitalise on a rollicking start they received, finishing with 150 in their quota of overs after they elected to bat. Pakistan never really threatened to overhaul the total and they ended up with 131 for nine.

The target of 151 was not exactly an improbable target to achieve, but the Lankan bowlers used the new ball to telling effect to tie down the Pakistan batsmen. Angelo Mathews drew first blood when he castled Salman Butt and the early dismissal of the left-hander, who could have provided Pakistan with a vigorous start, seemed to stall their progress.

They suffered couple of more blows even before they settled in as Shoaib Malik, who looked in good touch during his brief stay at the crease, and Kamran Akmal departed to push Pakistan into a tight spot. However, it was not a no-hope situation, but strangely Pakistan batsmen did not seem to make an effort to escape from the marshy circumstances. Only skipper Younis Khan, whose fourth wicket alliance with Misbah-ul-Haq produced 66 runs, batted with purpose for a well-crafted fifty, but he lacked support.

Earlier, Sri Lanka had made a fantastic start to their innings with man of the match Tillakaratne Dilshan and Sanath Jayasuriya, who added 81 runs for the opening wicket, hammering the Pakistan bowlers at will. Dilshan’s stay at the crease was more eye-catching with the right-hander employing that peculiar scoop over the wicketkeeper’s head.

With both the batsmen in a hurry runs flowed in like a torrent, and the Pakistan bowlers too did not help their cause spraying the ball all-round. Sohail Tanvir bowled two horrendous overs upfront, and while giving width to both the batsmen the left-arm paceman also signed his contract of doom.

Sri Lanka amassed 65 runs in the six Power Play overs and they looked good for a total in excess of 200. Sensing the Lankan batsmen’s comfort against pace bowlers, Younis Khan introduced the leg-spin of Shahid Afridi and the move immediately paid off.
Afridi got rid of Jayasuriya with the latter offering a catch to Younis. But a bigger blow was to follow as Dilshan’s attempt to cut Afridi only yielded an inside edge that rattled the stumps. The back-to-back success seemed to instil fresh dose of energy into Pakistan bowlers, who regained the rhythm in the middle stages after coping with a fearful pounding from Dilshan-Jayasuriya combine.

Thereafter Pakistan did well to take wickets at regular intervals to stem the Lankan march, but could not finish off the job.

DH News Service

Score Board

SRI LANKA

Dilshan b Afridi    46
(39b, 8x4)
Jayasuriya c Younis b Afridi    26
(24b, 2x4, 1x6)
Sangakkara st Akmal b Ajmal    15
(16b, 1x4)
Jawardene c Afridi b Ajmal    19
(18b, 2x4)
Silva c Akmal b Gul    8
(6b, 1x4)
Mubarak (run out)    5
(10b)
Matthews (not out)    9
(8b, 1x4)
Kulasekara lbw Gul    0
(1b)
Malinga (not out)    2
(1b)
Extras (LB-7, W-10, NB-3)    17
Total (for 7 wkts, 20 overs)    150
Fall of wickets: 1-81 (Jayasuriya), 2-89 (Dilshan), 3-110 (Sangakkara), 4-128 (Silva), 5-132 (Jayawardene), 6-148 (Mubarak), 7-148 (Kulasekara),
Bowling: Tanvir 2-0-29-0 (nb-3, w-6), Aamer 4-0-26-0, Gul 4-0-32-0 (w-2), Afridi 4-0-23-2 (w-2), Ajmal 4-0-26-2, Malik 2-0-5-0.
Scoring Pattern: 5 overs: 59/0, 10: 86/1, 15: 120/3, End of Innings: 150/7 in 20 overs.
Runs during Power Play: 1-6: 65/0.

PAKISTAN

Butt b Mathews    0
(3b)
Akmal (run out)    5
(9b)
Malik c Kulasekara b Malinga    28
(20b, 5x4)
Misbah c Silva b Muralitharan    21
(28b)
Younis c Sangakkara b Malinga    50
(37b, 4x4)
Afridi c Dilshan b Muralitharan    0
(1b)
Alam c Sangakkara b Kulasekara    12
(11b, 1x4)
Tanvir c&b Malinga    3
(7b)
Gul (not out)    9
(4b, 1x4)
Aamer (run out)    0
(0b)
Ajmal (not out)    0
(0b)
Extras (B-1, W-2)    3
Total (for 9 wkts, 20 overs)    131
Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Butt), 2-34 (Malik), 3-35 (Akmal), 4-101 (Misbah), 5-101 (Afridi), 6-108 (Younis), 7-121 (Tanvir), 8-123 (Alam), 9-124 (Aamer)
Bowling: Mathews 4-0-23-1, Kulasekara 4-0-30-1, Malinga 4-0-17-3 (w-1), Muralitharan 4-0-28-2, Mendis 3-0-24-0, Jayasuriya 1-0-8-0.
Scoring Pattern: 5 overs: 33/1, 10: 59/3, 15: 99/3, End of Innings: 131/9 in 20 overs. Runs during Power Play: 1-6: 36/3. 

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