Sri Lanka maul Pakistan in third One-dayer

January 24th, 2009 - 10:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Lahore, Jan 24 (IANS) Tillakaratne Dilshan’s unbeaten century and devastating bowling from Sri Lanka saw Pakistan slump to a massive 234-run defeat, their heaviest One-day loss, in the third and final match here Saturday.Dilshan struck a career-best 137 as the visitors scored a challenging 309-5 in their 50 overs at the Gadaffi Stadium here.

Nuwan Kulasekara (3-17) and Thilan Thushara (3-33) then bowled with fire to pack off Pakistan for just 75 in 22.5 overs.

It is Pakistan’s lowest total in One-dayers at home and also their heaviest one-day defeat in terms of runs. Pakistan’s previous heaviest loss in terms of runs was by 224 runs against Australia at Nairobi in 2002.

Pakistan, who is playing international cricket after a long gap, won the first One-dayer but Sri Lanka bounced back in the next two to win the three-match series 2-1.

In another significant milestone, Off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan took two wickets in the match to pass 500 one-day wickets. Pakistan’s Wasim Akram (502) is the only bowler ahead of him.

Pakistan had only themselves to blame as they dropped three catches and spurned a stumping chance.

The visitors won the toss and elected to bat on a batting-friendly track. The openers -Dilshan and veteran Sanath Jayasuriya (45) - set up the foundation of a big score with a 76-run stand. Jayasuriya was dismissed by Gul, who finished with three wickets for 45 runs.

Dilshan batted through the innings, hitting 10 boundaries during his 139-ball knock.

Dilshan was involved in a second-wicket stand of 104 with Kumar Sangakkara (50) and put on 57 for the third wicket with Thilina Kandamby (32).

Dilshan cut loose after his hundred as Sri Lanka added 83 runs in the final ten overs.

Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik raised a few eyebrows when he promoted out-of-form Younus Khan to open the innings.

The home team were never in the hunt as Thushara trapped Younus (4) in the second over. Only two batsmen could reach double figures while four were out for ducks.

Salman Butt was the second (0) to go, caught by Thilina Kandamby off Kulasekara. Thushara trapped Kamran Akmal in front and Kulasekara dismissed opener Khurram
Manzoor (3).

Misbah-ul-Haq was caught behind off Thushara and Pakistan were in desperate trouble at 18 for five. They were soon six for 22 with Kulasekara removing Shahid Afridi for nought.

Malik (19) and Umar Gul (27) put on a brief resistance adding 46 runs for the seventh wicket before Pakistan’s innings folded up in just 104 minutes.

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