Cricket: Sri Lanka extinguish Afridi fireworks to level series

Malinga was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3-36 while NLTC Perera and CRD Fernando took two a-piece.

Reuters November 14, 2011

DUBAI: Sri Lanka doused some late Shahid Afridi fireworks to produce an electrifying 25-run victory over Pakistan in the second one-day international at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Monday.    

Sri Lanka appeared to be coasting to victory as they left Pakistan reeling on 11 for three and again on 169 for eight, despite a patient 91 by Umar Akmal.

But the arrival of "Boom Boom" Afridi at the crease in the 38th over appeared to swing the momentum back Pakistan's way as the explosive batsman rode his luck to get the run chase down to less than a run a ball.

Afridi benefited from a dropped catch in the 41st over and a close run out appeal just nine balls later as he tormented the Sri Lankan fielders by clobbering the ball all over the ground.

However, just when it seemed as if Afridi would destroy the opposition with a stunning display of power-hitting,Tillakaratne Dilshan stopped him in his tracks by sprinting in from backward point to score a direct hit on the stumps with a one-handed throw.

As Afridi tucked his bat under his arm to trudge back to the pavilion having scored 29 off 14 deliveries, Pakistan supporters knew their chances of going 2-0 up in the series were all but over as they still needed 37 runs from 39 balls with just one wicket remaining.

Within minutes it was all over for Pakistan as former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara punished the batsmen for trying to take an extra run following an overthrow.

Sangakkara scooped up the ball following the misfield and ran out Aizaz Cheema with another direct hit as Pakistan were all out with 21 balls to spare.

Earlier Upul, Tharanga started brightly and capitalised on two let-offs -- he was dropped at cover on 15 and again on 31 -- as he notched up a well-timed 77 to set Sri Lanka on their way to a respectable total of 235 for seven off their 50 overs.

Mahela Jayawardene picked up the pace when they were stalling around the halfway stage and chipped in with 50, stroking five boundaries.

The third one-dayer in the five-match series will take place in Dubai on Friday.


antanu g | 10 years ago | Reply

a good contest..very close and afridi has served a notice to opponents.

the Skunk | 10 years ago | Reply

It was a thriller no doubt. Now the scores are even and let's see what the next match brings. Salams.

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