December 26, 2013 3:11:14 am
Offspinner Saeed Ajmal grabbed 4-39 and fast bowler Umar Gul mopped up the top order as Pakistan bowled out Sri Lanka for 225 on Wednesday in the fourth one-day international.
Gul (3-37) had Sri Lanka reeling at 36-3 but debutant Ashan Priyanjan (78) and Kumar Sangakkara (51) hit half centuries and resurrected the innings briefly with an 89-run stand.
Sangakkara was run out in the 29th over and Priyanjan,who hit 10 boundaries,was bowled by Junaid Khan in the 36th over. Ajmal returned to have three of the last four wickets to bowl out Sri Lanka with more than an over to spare for the lowest total of series so far. Ajmal had captain Angelo Mathews (38) leg before wicket and clean bowled Sachithra Senanayake off successive deliveries,and then had Lasith Malinga caught behind as Sri Lanka lost its last four wickets for 15 runs.
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Sri Lanka,needing a win to stay alive in the five-match series after trailing 2-1,started off shakily after Mathews won the toss and elected to bat first for the first time in the series. Gul,who took three wickets in his comeback match after a nine-month layoff due to knee surgery in Pakistans 113-run victory in the third ODI,was again up to the mark when he had Kusal Perera and Dinesh Chandimal caught by captain Misbah-ul-Haq. In between these two blows,Tillkaratne Dilshan was clean bowled while offering no-stroke to Guls sharp inswinger,which knocked back the top of the offstump.
But Priyanjan and Sangakkara put the innings back on track with a watchful stand as the debutant also hit Gul for three boundaries in one over that included two superb cover drives and a pull shot. Priyanjan,who looked set to become first Sri Lankan batsman to score a century in his debut ODI,threw away his wicket when he tried to run past short fine leg but was clean bowled by Khans pacey delivery.
Mathews and another debutant,Kithuruwan Vithanage (27),added a brisk 40 off 43 balls before Ajmal ran through the lower order and restricted Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka dropped out-of-form allrounders Thisara Perera and Seekkuge Prasanna,along with batsman Dimuth Karunaratne and brought in Priyanjan and Vithanage. Fast bowler Suranga Lakmal came in for his second match of the series,replacing allrounder Seekkuge Prasanna.
Briefscores: Sri Lanka 225 in 48.5 overs (K Sangakkara 51,S Priyanjan 74; U Gul 3/37,S Ajmal 4/39) vs Pakistan
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