Sri Lanka drubs Pakistan

ON CLOUD NINE: Tillakaratne Dilshan’s career-best knock laid the foundation for Sri Lanka’s massive victory over Pakistan in Lahore on Saturday.

ON CLOUD NINE: Tillakaratne Dilshan’s career-best knock laid the foundation for Sri Lanka’s massive victory over Pakistan in Lahore on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: AFP

Muralitharan reaches 500-mark

Lahore: Tillakaratne Dilshan blasted a career-best unbeaten 137, while Muttiah Muralitharan grabbed his 500th ODI wicket as Sri Lanka bulldozed Pakistan by 234 runs to win the three-match cricket series 2-1 here on Saturday.

Opting to bat, Sri Lanka piled up 309 for five before its bowlers skittled out Pakistan for a meagre 75 in just 22.5 overs.

Dilshan’s 139-ball 137, studded with 10 fours, turned out to be the bedrock of the Lankan innings.

Sanath Jayasuriya (45), Kumar Sangakkara (50) and Thilina Kandamby (32) also came up with useful contributions in building the innings.

Lowest at Lahore

For Pakistan, only two batsmen — Umar Gul (27) and captain Shoaib Malik (19) — managed double digit scores, while four had ducks against their names as the home team folded up for its lowest score at the venue.

Lankan pacer Nuwan Kulasekara (three for 17) and Thilan Tushara (three for 33) mowed down the Pakistani top order before Muttiah Muralitharan (two for two) and Ajantha Mendis (one for 10) completed the rout.

Muralitharan castled Sohail Khan (four) for his 500th ODI scalp. Muralitharan, already the highest wicket-taker in Tests with 769 scalps against his name, needs three more wickets to overtake Wasim Akram (502) to top the ODI chart as well.

Pakistan needed an extraordinary effort to chase down such a mammoth target but the first 22 runs cost it six frontline batsmen and the match was virtually over.

The rot sets in

The rot started in the second over when Thushara trapped Younus Khan (4) in front. In-form Salman Butt fell to Kulasekara for a first-ball duck, while Thushara went on to claim the wickets of Kamran Akmal (nine) and Misbah-ul-Haq (zero).

At the other end, Kulasekara added Khurram Manzoor (three) and Shahid Afridi (zero) to his scalps to compound Pakistan’s misery.

Gul and Shoaib Malik tried to delay the inevitable with a 46-run partnership but Ajantha Mendis broke the stand claiming Gul and Sri Lanka needed another four overs to complete a facile win.

Earlier, Dilshan looked completely at ease in his makeshift opener’s role and carried his bat to guide Sri Lanka past the 300-mark.

Despite having two hard-hitters in the middle, Sri Lanka initially found boundaries hard to come by, but Jayasuriya finally broke free in the 15th over bowled by Rao Iftikhar Anjum which yielded 25 runs.

The first ball disappeared over long-on for a massive six, followed by back-to-back fours, five wides and another boundary as well.

The fifty however eluded Jayasuriya who miscued a shot off Gul to perish after a 50-ball 45. But with Sangakkara and Dilshan on song, Pakistan struggled to stem the run flow.

The duo added a run-a-ball 104 for the second wicket, and even when Sangakkara was run out after a 58-ball 50, Sri Lanka was eyeing a score in the vicinity of 300. — PTI


Sri Lanka: T. Dilshan (not out) 137, S. Jayasuriya c Ajmal b Gul 45, K. Sangakkara (run out) 50, T. Kandamby c Manzoor b Sohail 32, M. Jayawardene c Akmal b Gul 18, C. Kapugedera c Akmal b Gul 0, M. Maharoof (not out) 8; Extras (lb-5, nb-1, w-13) 19; Total: (for five wkts. in 50 overs) 309.

Fall of wickets: 1-76, 2-180, 3-237, 4-284, 5-284.

Pakistan bowling: Gul 9-2-45-3, Sohail 10-1-52-1, Iftikhar 5-0-53-0, Ajmal 9-0-51-0, Afridi 10-0-60-0, Malik 7-0-43-0.

Pakistan: K. Manzoor c Maharoof b Kulasekara 3, Younus Khan lbw b Thushara 4, S. Butt lbw b Kulasekara 0, K. Akmal lbw b Thushara 9, S. Malik c Jayawardene b Maharoof 19, Misbah-ul-Haq c Sangakkara b Thushara 0, S. Afridi b Kulasekara 0, U. Gul lbw b Mendis 27, R. Iftikhar lbw b Muralitharan 0, Sohail Khan b Muralitharan 4, S. Ajmal (not out) 2; Extras: (lb-1, w-6) 7; Total: (in 22.5 overs) 75.

Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-5, 3-17, 4-17, 5-18, 6-22, 7-68, 8-68, 9-72.

Sri Lanka bowling: Kulasekara 7-2-17-3, Thushara 7-1-33-3, Mendis 3-0-10-1, Maharoof 4-1-12-1, Muralitharan 1.5-0-2-2.

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