KARACHI: An inspired Sri Lankan fightback on Friday saw Pakistan lose the fifth and final One Day International (ODI) in Abu Dhabi two wickets.
Sri Lanka managed to huff and puff their way to Pakistan's 232-run target, ending on 235 at eight wickets in 49.4 overs. They lost the five-match series by 3-2, though.
Once again, the PCB Chairman was quick to leap on to Twitter and proclaim his emotions publicly:
Amazing! Some Pakistanis are happy Pakistan lost because it gives an opportunity to vent their politiical prejudice against me. Shameful!— Najam Sethi (@najamsethi) December 27, 2013
After a daunting first-wicket parnership between Dilshan and Kusal Perera, Sri Lanka seemed set to sail smoothly to the finish line. A ballistic Perera hit powerful strokes all over the ground to score 47 runs from 41 deliveries, which included three fours and four sixes.
As Dilshan and Sangakkara both fell to Junaid Khan for scores of 45 and 22 respectively, Pakistani bowlers smelled their chance and pegged things back with a burst of wickets as Sri Lanka slumped from 137 for four to 195 for eight.
Things looked tense with two overs to go and Sri Lanka requiring 18 runs off them and only two wickets in hand.
But Dinesh Chandimal, who had stood resolutely against Pakistani bowling, took Sri Lanka home.
Chandimal first smacked Umar Gul for a six. Ajantha Mendis lofted Gul for another maximum in the same over.
Needing just five runs in the final over, Chandimal turned away Anwar Ali for a single to remain unbeaten on 64 runs from 70 balls. Mendis then managed to get a boundary off a rather unorthodox shot to wrap up the game for Sri Lanka.
Junaid Khan took the most wickets for Pakistan, with three scalps to his name. Saeed Ajmal grabbed two wickets.
Mohammad Hafeez bagged the Man of the Series Award while Chandimal was awarded Man of the Match for his vital knock.
Earlier, seeking a winning end after losing the series, the Sri Lanka bowlers displayed a disciplined show to refrain the in-form Pakistan batting line-up from a big total as the hosts were bowled out in 49.3 overs after Misbahul Haq opted to bat first.
Malinga who struggled in the last four games was the stand-out performer picking four wickets after conceding 57 runs from his ten overs. Suranga Lakmal was also impressive with figures of 3-42.
Misbah ended as the top scorer with 51-run knock from 74 deliveries as the hosts got little contribution from the upper-order.
Hafeez who struck three centuries in the series made 41 from 56 balls after Pakistan lost openers – Sharjeel Khan (18) and Ahmed Shahzad (17).
Anwar Ali made useful contribution down the order hitting an unbeaten 41 from 38 balls including a couple of boundaries and a six.
Skipper Angelo Mathews (1-26), and Ajantha Mendis (1-42) were the other wicket-taking bowlers for Sri Lanka.
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hats off to anwar ali for at least getting us a respectable total. A lot of batsmen would have totally flopped. Akmal did for sure. Threw his wicket away... You can't go easy just because you've won the series...
It is due to Pakistan team is not having control in their nerves. They after winning series give the same performance and easily loose the dead rubber matches. All team members including captain needs counseling to improve their performance in all matches. Anyhow good luck Pakistan for test series.
The series is fixed
'Shock Pakistan', lol. Let me remind you that Sri Lanka ranked 5th and Pakistan 6th in the ICC ODI ranking chart, highly delusional.
I used to like Najam Sethi. But he's getting on my nerves now.