ODI series: Letting the opportunities spill

Pakistan rue poor fielding as Mathews helps Sri Lanka win 5th game and series.

News Desk June 18, 2012

Pakistan threw away another golden opportunity to beat Sri Lanka, going down by two wickets in the fifth and final One-Day International (ODI) and also lose the series 3-1.

Angelo Mathews was Sri Lanka’s hero with a splendid, unbeaten 80 as the tourists chased down the 248-run target with two balls to spare. With 15 needed off the final over, Mathews, who arrived when Sri Lanka were precariously placed at 97 for four in the 25th over, smashed Mohammad Sami for a couple of twos and a six before a boundary over cover sealed the result.

Pakistan captain Misbahul Haq credited the Sri Lankan but was at a loss explaining the reasons for the defeat.

"Mathews took the game away from us," said Misbah. "We were 15 to 20 runs short in our innings and they bowled well at the end. Again, our fielding let us down. We have to forget this and improve our performance in the Tests."

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene was a pleased man. "It was a great game," said Jayawardene. "The whole series was fantastic. We had to dig deep at times, and today was no different. It was a big call to play Jeevan Mendis today. We just need to focus on little things like we did in the ODIs.”

Mathews, named man of the match, was relieved after having an off-colour series.

“I haven't had the opportunity to bat since the first game,” said Mathews.

“But I was ready. I’m glad I did it today in front of an amazing crowd.”

The defeat marks a good tonic for Sri Lanka, who lost the last ODI series to Pakistan 4-1 in the UAE, ahead of the Test series that starts on June 22.

A slideshow of the match can be viewed here

Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2012.

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roomi | 8 years ago | Reply

Cast you mind back to few months back in Asia Cup Final !! - How Aizaz Cheema- an intelligent and committed bowler not as flashy or quick as Sami bowled a great final over for Pak to defend 8 runs to win the Cup.In the traditions of great PCB Management You rewarded him by dropping him and bring back Sami (Talented but....) with all the hype and he fails to defend 15 runs ! Ironical but typical!

Yousaf Ali | 8 years ago | Reply

It seems that Mr. Ijaz Ahmad was a much better fielding coach than this guy who is charging hefty amount from PCB. Muhammad Sami is not a bowler of that caliber to be given last over. And even if given because the tail was batting then what happened...Sri Lankan wrapped up the match before time. By the way who was the genius behind Ajmal exclusion and Sami's inclusion. Do they have any comparison.

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