Mathews seals Sri Lanka’s series win

All-rounder Angelo Mathews struck an unbeaten 80 off 76 balls to lead Sri Lanka to a thrilling two wickets win over Pakistan with two balls to spare in the fifth and the final One-Day International played at the R Premadasa stadium in Colombo on Monday.
With this win, Sri Lanka claimed the series 3-1, the third game of the series was washed out.
Pakistan led by half-centuries by Imran Farhat and Umar Akmal posted 247-7 in its 50 overs. In its reply, Sri Lanka was set back as Sohail Tanvir picked up two quick wickets early on.

However, Kumar Sangakkara and Dinesh Chandimal stabilised the innings for Sri Lanka before a flurry of quick wickets again turned the match in favour of Pakistan.

Later Mathews rallied the lower order to propel Sri Lanka to a series win.

Earlier, Farhat, playing his first one-dayer in four months, hit an impressive 56 and Akmal an unbeaten 55 in the day-night match to keep alive their team’s hopes of levelling the series.

Pakistan batted steadily after losing out-of-form opener Mohammad Hafeez (six), with Azhar Ali (30) and Farhat adding 60 for the second wicket and then Akmal putting on 61 for the fifth wicket with skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (32).

Akmal smashed two sixes and five fours in a 61-ball knock for his 15th half-century in one-dayers.

Hafeez, who was bowled by paceman Nuwan Kulasekara in the sixth over, has now scored just 20 runs in his last four one-dayers.

Farhat dominated the Sri Lankan attack in the initial overs, twice hitting Kulasekara for three fours in an over. Kulasekara conceded 35 runs in his opening six overs before being replaced by off-spinner Tillakaratne Dilshan.

Farhat fell pulling seamer Thisara Perera to deep mid-wicket where he was caught by Dinesh Chandimal after smashing nine fours in his 12th half-century in one-day internationals.

Leg-spinner Jeevan Mendis, playing his first match of the series, was the most impressive bowler with 2-30 off nine overs while Kulasekara finished with 2-53 off 10 overs.

Sri Lanka made one change from the team which won the last match by 44 runs on Saturday, replacing Sajeewa Weerakoon with Mendis.

Pakistan brought in Farhat and paceman Mohammad Sami in place of Younis Khan and off-spinner Saeed Ajmal.