After Hafeez ton,Pak barely defend 322 in thriller

Sri Lanka got off to a solid start with Tillakaratne Dilshan (30).

Written by PTI | Sharjah | Published:December 20, 2013 2:09 am

Pakistan survived a late order scare from Sri Lanka to pull off an exciting 11-run win in the first one-day international here,to go 1-0 up in the five-matchs series. Pakistan’s innings was built around a brilliant 122 from Mohammad Hafeez which saw them post an impressive total of 322/5 in their 50 overs but were made to work hard for their win,finally bowling Sri Lanka out in 49.4 overs Wednesday night. Besides Hafeez’s 122,Sohaib Maqsood (73) and debutant opener Sharjeel Khan (61) were the main contributors on a flat pitch.

Sri Lanka had all but lost the match at 221/7 but Sachithra Senanayake (42) and Seekkuge Prasanna (42) gave Pakistan a scare during their 87-run partnership for the eighth wicket — a record for Pakistan-Sri Lanka one-day internationals. Sri Lanka needed 27 off the last two overs but both the batsmen were out in quick succession to hand Pakistan a deserved win.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq said his bowlers needed to improve on this performance. “It was a hard fought win. We need to improve on the bowling and fielding,too many lapses,” said Misbah.

Sri Lanka got off to a solid start with Tillakaratne Dilshan (30) and Kusal Perera (64) batting quite comfortably against the spin-cum pace Pakistan attack. Dilshan pulled a short Junaid Khan delivery straight to deep square-leg before Kumar Sangakkara (23) and Perera added 47 for the second wicket.

Perera,who hit five boundaries and a six off 68 balls,also holed out off Hafeez before leg-spinner Shahid Afridi then struck twice,dismissing Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne (10) in quick succession. Dinesh Chandimal hit a 50-ball 46 while Mathews made 31 off 32 balls during a resolute 73-run stand for the fifth wicket before the tail wagged. Paceman Junaid finished with 3-44.

The second match will be played in Dubai on Friday by the third in Sharjah on Sunday and the last two in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday and Friday next.

Brief scores: Pakistan 322/5 (Mohd. Hafeez 122,S Maqsood 73,SKhan 61; Lakmal 2/73) bt Sri Lanka 311 all out (K Perera 64,S Prasanna 42,S Senanayake 42; Junaid 3/44,Afridi 2/30).

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