Pakistan move ahead in series

Fri, 18 Nov 19:56:00 2011

Pakistan took victory in the third ODI against Sri Lanka to reclaim the series lead as the tourists' frantic run-chase saw them bowled out 22 runs shy of their 258 target in the 49th over in Dubai.

Cricket Pakistan v Sri Lanka - 0

A big opening stand between Mohammad Hafeez and Imran Farhat set Pakistan on their way to 257 for eight from their 50 overs earlier in the day. But Sri Lanka were still in with a chance as they needed 24 from the final two overs.

However, Umar Gul collected the wickets of Seekkuge Prasanna and Angel Fernando in the space of four balls to wrap up the victory, bowling Sri Lanka out for 236.

Hafeez and Farhat put on 151 for the opening stand as Pakistan gave themselves an early platform for victory. Hafeez struck 83 off 101 balls, offering only one chance when he was dropped by Prasanna while on 58. However, Prasanna gained a measure of redemption when it was he who bowled Hafeez between bat and pad.

Farhat followed three overs later for 70, caught at long on by Mahela Jayawardene off Tillakaratne Dilshan as he attempted a second six of his innings.

Having needed almost 30 overs to remove either of the openers, Sri Lanka then enjoyed a tumble of wickets as Abdul Razzaq (six), Umar Akmal (seven) and Misbah-ul-Haq (seven) went cheaply to send Pakistan from 151 for none to 193 for five. Younus Khan, who was run out for 42 attempting a quick single in the final over, ensured a big total.

Sri Lanka's reply got off to a shaky start with Upul Tharanga bowled by Gul for four in the opening over, but Kumar Sangakkara helped stabilise things alongside Dilshan.

They had moved the score on to 111 before a mix-up cost Sangakkara his wicket in a run-out, five runs shy of his half-century. Dilshan lasted another five overs, making 64 before suffering something of a freak dismissal as he attempted a sweep of Afridi, only for the ball to strike his arm and hit the stumps.

But from there, Sri Lanka began to fall behind the run rate as more wickets fell. Jayawardene went for 17, stumped by Sarfraz Ahmed as he came out of his crease to Saeed Ajmal, and after Dinesh Chandimal went for 31, Sri Lanka were struggling on 186 for six.

Jeevan Mendis added 19 and Perera four to leave Sri Lanka's hopes pinned on Mathews (32 not out) going into the final overs, but Gul's claimed the final two wickets to ensure Pakistan now lead the five-game series 2-1.

PA Sport

Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account