COLOMBO: Angelo Mathews’ unbeaten 76-ball 80 took Sri Lanka to a thrilling 2-wicket win over Pakistan in the 5th and final ODI.
Mathews punish Pakistan for a deplorable day in the field and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat after the hosts had look out of the contest at 138-6 in the 35th over, in pursuit of Pakistan’s 247.
The punishing all-rounder featured in a series of brisk stands and lastly hit 15 runs, including a 6 and 4, in Mohammad Sami’s final over of the innings to get about a nail-biting win with 2 balls to spare. The result enabled Sri Lanka to claim the 5-match series 3-1, with one match abandoned due to rain. Pakistan dropped 2 catches, messed up a series of run out chances, and conceded 22 extras, allowing AD Mathews to brains quick partnerships with the lower order that swung the momentum back the way of the hosts.
Sri Lanka were jolted early in the chase as left-arm paceman Sohail Tanvir sent back the openers, Upul Taranga and Tillakaratne Dilshan, cheaply - within the 1st 6 overs. The home team was resurrected by a 78-run partnership between Kumar Sangakkara (40) and Dinesh Chandimal (54).But Shahid Afridi took 2 wickets in two balls in the 25th over of the innings to peg the hosts back. Sangakkara was run out by the wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed off Afridi, and on the next ball new man Mahela Jayawardene was caught and bowled for a golden duck. It lastly took Mathews' being there in the middle to guide Sri Lanka over the line.
Earlier, Misbah-ul-Haq selected to bat and was served well by opener Imran Farhat and Umar Akmal, who cracked half-centuries as Pakistan posted a spirited 247-7. Farhat, playing his first ODI in four months, hit an imposing 56 and Umar Akmal a winning 55 in the day-night match to keep alive their team's hopes of leveling the series. Earlier, Pakistan batted progressively after losing out-of-form opener Mohammad Hafeez (6), with Azhar Ali (30) and Farhat adding 60 for the 2nd wicket, and then Akmal putting on 61 for the 5th wicket with captain Misbah-ul-Haq (32).
Akmal smashed 2sixes and 5 fours in a 61-ball knock for his 15th half-century in one-dayers.
Hafeez, who was bowled by paceman Nuwan Kulasekara in the 6th over, has now scored just 20 runs in his last 4 one-dayers. Farhat dominated the Sri Lankan attack in the initial overs, twice beating Kulasekara for 3 fours in an over
Farhat pulling seamer Thisara Perera to deep mid-wicket where he was caught by Chandimal after smash 9 fours in his 12th half-century in ODI. Leg-spinner Jeevan Mendis, playing his 1st match of the series, was the most imposing bowler with 2-30 off nine overs while Kulasekara completed with 2-53 off 10 overs.
Sri Lanka made one change from the team which won the final match by 44 runs on Saturday, replacing Safeway Weerakoon with Mendis.Pakistan brought in Farhat and paceman Mohammad Sami in place of Younis Khan and off-spinner Saeed Ajmal.
Man Of The match : AD Mathews
Man Of THe Series: NLTC Perera