3rd ODI: Sarfraz, Yasir star in Pakistan's 135-run win against Sri Lanka

Pakistan piled up the highest total in series so far of 316-4 after electing to bat and bowled Sri Lanka out for 181

Abdul Majid/afp July 19, 2015
In case if Pakistan looses the bilateral series in Sri Lanka, the selectors might recommend PCB chairman to replace Azhar with wicket-keeper batsmen Sarfaraz Ahmed. PHOTO: AFP

COLOMBO: Sarfraz Ahmed scored 77 and Yasir Shah grabbed four wickets as Pakistan thrashed Sri Lanka by 135 runs in the violence-hit third one-day international in Colombo on Sunday.

All-rounder Mohammad Hafeez made up for a year-long ban on bowling due to a suspect action with a polished 54 as Pakistan piled up 316-4 after electing to bat in the day-night match.

Leg-spinner Yasir then shone with the ball as Sri Lanka were bundled out for 181 in 41.1 overs on a slow pitch at the Premadasa stadium.

The match was interrupted for 30 minutes in the second session with Sri Lanka on 158-7 when stones thrown apparently from outside the stadium landed on the field near a Pakistani fielder.

Match referee Javagal Srinath of India immediately ordered the players off the field as anti-riot police squads evacuated spectators from two blocks of stands near the giant scoreboard.

The match, which was witnessed by Pakistan batting great Zaheer Abbas -- the current president of the International Cricket Council (ICC) -- resumed after the short break and Pakistan completed a facile win to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

Lahiru Thirimanne, who top-scored with 56, was the only Sri Lankan batsman to offer resistance as the rest of the batting collapsed. Opener Kusal Perera was the next highest contributor with 20.

Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews admitted his team was outplayed by Pakistan.

"I am pretty disappointed," he said. "But it must be said that Pakistan outplayed us in all three departments."

"The pitch helped the spinners in the second innings, but we need to improve in batting, bowling and fielding. We can't afford to panic. Just need to have faith in the boys."

Hafeez's fourth score of 50-plus in the last six one-day innings built on a 93-run opening stand between Ahmed Shehzad (44) and skipper Azhar Ali (49).

Hafeez, 34, had on Friday been banned from bowling for a year by the ICC after his action was ruled to be illegal -- for the second time in the last eight months.

But the former captain ensured he contributed with the bat with a stroke-filled half-century to follow his 103 in the opening match of the series.

Sarfraz, promoted to number four from lower down the order, justified the captain's faith with seven boundaries in his 74-ball knock.

The gutsy wicket-keeper put on 72 for the third wicket with Hafeez and 61 for the fourth with Shoaib Malik to boost the total, before he was run out in the 45th over.

Malik, watched from the stands by his tennis-playing Indian wife Sania Mirza, struck an unbeaten 42 from 29 balls and shared an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 59 with Mohammad Rizwan (35 not out).

The pair smashed 21 runs in the last over, bowled by Lasith Malinga, to leave Sri Lanka chasing the highest total in the series so far.

Sarfraz, who was named man of the match, said he was delighted to contribute to the big win.

"It was a great team effort," he said. "I am really very happy with my batting and 'keeping. Yesterday Azhar came and told me he wanted me to bat higher in the order. I said okay."

"I am just happy everything clicked for me and the team."

Pakistan had won the opening match in Dambulla and Sri Lanka took the second in Pallekele.

Ninth-ranked Pakistan need a series win to remain in contention for a place in the eight-nation Champions Trophy in England in 2017.

Sri Lanka, currently ranked fifth, are assured of taking part in the tournament.

The fourth match will be played at the same venue on Wednesday.


Sri Lanka: Kusal Perera, Tilakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Angelo Mathews*, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal†, Siriwardana, Sachith Pathirana, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep

Pakistan: Azhar Ali*, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfraz Ahmed†, Anwar Ali, Yasir Shah, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Irfan

Pakistan 261-4 (45 overs)

Sarfraz Ahmed was run out after playing an important 77-run innings for Pakistan. Shoaib Malik is joined by Muhammad Rizwan in the middle and the stage is set for the visitors for fire on from here in the last five overs.

Pakistan 207-3 (38 overs)

The rain took nearly 20 minutes to stop and Muhammad Hafeez completed his half-ton as soon as the play resumed. He, then, went for a sweep off Sachithra Pathirana and was caught at midwicket by Kusal Perera on 54. Shoaib Malik walks in for Pakistan now to join Sarfraz Ahmed.

Pakistan 187-2 (35.1 overs)

Just one ball bowled of the 36th over and the players are off the field due to rain.

Two boundaries and twenty eight runs scored by Pakistan in the last five overs. Sarfraz 34, Muhammad Hafeez 49.

Pakistan 158-2 (30 overs)

Only one boundary by Pakistan in the last five overs. Sarfraz Ahmed and Muhammad Hafeez are happy with singles and doubles; slowly pushing the Pakistan total forward.

Pakistan 130-2 (25 overs)

RUN OUT! Azhar Ali is caught short of the crease at the bowler's end due a confusion while taking a second run. He missed out on an important fifty and departs for an unlucky 49. Surprisingly, Sarfraz Ahmed has been sent up the batting order before Shoaib Malik and Muhammad Rizwan. Let us see what he can do for Pakistan here as the visitors need to boos their scoring now.

Pakistan 108-1 (20 overs)

Only one boundary in the last five overs and Pakistan are strolling forward in the third ODI. Ahmed Shehzad departed due to a lazy shot and Muhammad Hafeez has come in to prove his worth as a batsman. Meanwhile, Azhar Ali is moving on to another half-century. He has been in supreme form after becoming the leader for this young Pakistan side.

Reminds me of Jason Gillespie, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Muhammad Irfan, Muhammad Aamir, Nathan Bracken, Ishant Sharma. Moreover, Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul also had their share of long hair for a small period. Can anyone name some others?

Pakistan 93-1 (17 overs)

OUT! Ahmed Shehzad caught at short midwicket off Lasith Maling. Sachith Pathirana takes a forward-diving catch. Shehzad departs for 44 as Muhammad Hafeez walks in. He is a specialist batsman for Pakistan for a year from now.

Azhar Ali has coupled his good defense with some nice, effortless attacking skills. His strategy to come out of the crease to bamboozle the bowlers is coming in quite handy, while at times, he is caught blank as well. But he seems to have a great mixture of offense and defense.

Pakistan 88-0 (15 overs)

Azhar 40, Shehzad 40.

Pakistan are slowly moving forward. They have managed only two boundaries in the last five overs. One each for Azhar Ali and Ahmed Shehzad. Can both the openers go on to convert these starts?

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Pakistan 55-0 (10 overs)

Malinga again and this time Azhar Ali guides the short ball towards extra cover.

Sachith Pathirana comes on with his left-arm spin and gives away only three runs.

Malinga comes into the over for the eighth over. Catches Azhar Ali plumb in front of the stumps but an inside edges saves the Pakistani skipper. He punishes the slinger with a FOUR on the fourth ball.

(Hope she brings a lot of luck for Shoaib Malik)

Pakistan 38-0 (7 overs)

Ahmed Shehzad has stepped on the gas. Angelo Mathews is hit for three FOURS in the seventh over.

Azhar Ali also opened the boundary scoring with a FOUR off Nuwan Pradeep in the sixth. He also becomes the fastest Pakistani to reach to 1000 runs in just 23 ODIs and second fastest jointly in the world.

(Even in his bad days he was a danger sign for the opposition. He could turn the tables on any chosen day)

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Pakistan 8-0 (3 overs)

Just a single off the over.

Sri Lanka captain with the ball and the keeper is up on the stumps for the ever-advancing Azhar Ali.

Pakistan 7-0 (2 overs)

Four runs off the over.

Nuwan Pradeep is in to bowl the second over.

Pakistan 3-0 (1 over)

Azhar Ali and Ahmed Shehzad are out there in the middle to open for Pakistan. Meanwhile, Angelo Mathews is relying on his own bowling skills to bring the visitors down. Welcome to Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 3rd ODI live updates. Enjoy the ride with us!

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