Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lasith Malinga helps SriLanka level ODI series

Posted by Admin On 11:11 AM


Lasith Malinga again establish his significance to Sri Lanka as he helped bowl his side to a series-levelling 25-run win over Pakistan in the second one-day international in Dubai. Malinga claimed three wickets, and critically prompted a top-order collapse, as Sri Lanka protected 235 for seven by bowling out Pakistan for 210.

After Upul Tharanga led Sri Lanka's batting effort with 77, Malinga removed Mohammad Hafeez and Younus Khan to immediately undermine Pakistan's pursuit at 11 for three. Umar Akmal threatened to steal back the initiative with a blazing 91 from 102 balls but his side's hopes evaporated when, after shatter a hat-trick of boundaries off Dilhara Fernando, he drove the next ball straight to mid-on.

Malinga struck double in the first over of Pakistan's chase as both Hafeez, who became his 150th ODI wicket, and Younus edged behind to wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara. Imran Farhat was then attentive lbw by Thisara Perera to have Pakistan reel. That brought Umar to the crease and, while he lost skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and Abdul Razzaq, he wrestled the advantage back his side's way with a typically belligerent knock.

The right-hander looked on course for a century and, when he started blasting away against Fernando, the required scoring rate had drop below a run a ball. But Umar went for one shot too many, picking out Dinesh Chandimal with another full-blooded drive, to leave him cursing his inhibition.

Former skipper Shahid Afridi kept Pakistan's flickering hopes alive with 29 off 14 balls but he was run out by a Tillakaratne Dilshan straight hit before Sangakarra also hit the stumps to catch last man Aizaz Cheema short and seal the win.

Earlier, half centuries from Tharanga and Mahela Jayawardene (50) ensured Sri Lanka enhanced greatly on the 131 they managed when beaten by eight wickets in the first match. Openers Dilshan and Tharanga started positively against a new ball and added 56 in 68 balls before Afridi bowled the skipper.

Razzaq followed up with the key scalp of Sangakkara, snaring a soft caught and bowled, which prompted Tharanga to drop fasten. He eventually moved to a hard fought, but rarely fluent, fifty when he finally found the ropes for the fifth time. After 100 balls at the fold his score was just 54, putting some heaviness on Jayawardene to up the tempo.

He responds with two fours off Afridi, before Tharanga deceased in the powerplay, to Afridi, along with Angelo Mathews. Jayawardene reached his half-century off 56 deliveries but fell to the next ball, bowled by Saeed Ajmal (three for 61), who accepted 17 from for the addition of Perera's wicket in the final over. The third of the five-game series will again be played in Dubai on Friday.

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