Pakistan thumped Sri Lanka by 7 wickets in fourth ODI in Sharjah to register another win in the five-match series. Riding on an unbeaten stand of 119 runs for the fourth wicket between Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik, Pakistan won the fourth ODI comprehensively to go 4-0 up in the series. Chasing a modest target of 174 in Sharjah, Pakistan didn’t get an ideal start as they lost three early but Malik and Babar Azam got together and put the chase back on track. Azam, who received the man of the match for his 69*, credited Malik’s efforts with the bat when the team was in a spot of bother at 58/3.
“This knock has done what centuries couldn’t by winning this award. While batting I always look to give my 100%. When Shoaib came in he told me to make a partnership but I did not have to do much considering that he did most of the scoring. I try to keep my focus on at all points,” Babar Azam said.
Sri Lanka captain Upul Tharanga blamed his side’s batting for the loss and said the team continues to repeat the same mistakes.
“I think we are repeating the same mistakes. We are a good batting side but I do not know why we keep playing like this. It is a matter of confidence, none of our top six have enough runs under their belt and hope we do well next game. After Dinesh got out, Sadeera got out in the same over and we couldn’t recover. Akila has been bowling well in the last two series for us and Vandersay has been bowling well too,” said Tharanga.
After a good win, Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed praised his side and said, “The wickets in the Tests were slightly different. I think we have a good momentum going in and people are performing well. It is not that there is no pressure but we are lucky that the players have understood their respective roles perfectly; which simplifies the role of a captain. The way Shenwari bowled and made an impact with the kind of lengths he bowled was superb on debut. We’ll have a look at the conditions in the next match and then look at the combinations and the batting order.”