Once batsmen put up a score on board, Sri Lankans have a trump card in Lasith Malinga who's utterly tough to negotiate specially when asking rates are blowing out of proportions. So far on this UAE tour for Pakistan series, Lankans have not batted to their ability but today they managed to raise a moderate total on board and Malinga bowled them to series leveling victory..
Electing to bat first, Lankans openers had few answers to accurate new ball bowling from Umar Gul and Aizaz Cheema yet they got past 56 from first 11 overs thanks to some luck before Shahid Afridi made the first break-through. Abdul Razzaq bowled a miserly extended spell to keep run rate in check and even claimed prized wicket of Kumar Sangakkara while Saeed Ajmal dismissed Dinesh Chandimal. Struggling for runs on this tour, Mahela Jayawardene joined Upul Tharanga who was playing an ultra cautious innings at the other end.
85 runs between Jayawardene & Tharanga from almost 15 overs put islanders back on track, allowing Jeevan Mendis and Thisera Perera to accelerate and put a fighting total on board.
Pakistan were off to nightmare start, losing first wicket in first over, second in first and third in fourth. 3/11, captain Misbah-ul-Haq tried to build an innings with Umar Akmal but he was foxed into a slower delivery from Dilhara Fernando and soon Abdul Razzaq got run out. 102 for 5 wkts mid-way through the innings, Pakistan required a miracle and Umar Akmal seemed upto it, finding gaps admirably in his strokeful 91 but couldn't continue till the end. Shahid Afridi was freakishly run out to end Pakistan challenge.
Scorecard : Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2nd ODI, Dubai : 14 November 2011 :-