Sri Lanka's fifth triumph, and Fawad's special feat
Stats highlights from Sri Lanka's Asia Cup title triumph in Mirpur
- Sri Lanka's five-wicket win against Pakistan gave them their fifth Asia Cup title, equaling India's five title wins. The last time Sri Lanka won the title was in 2008. Sri Lanka have now won 34 matches in the Asia Cup - the highest by a team in the tournament.
- Sri Lanka have won nine ODIs on the trot, starting with their win against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi last year. This is just one short of their longest streak of wins which lasted for ten ODIs between February 2004 and July 2004.
- Lahiru Thirimanne's 101 in this match was his third ODI century and his second against Pakistan in this Asia Cup. In the league match between the two teams earlier in the tournament, Thirmanne had scored 102. He finished as the batsman with most runs in the tournament, making 279 runs at 55.80 from five innings and won his first Man-of-the-Series award.
- Mahela Jayawardene chose an opportune time to come to form, with his first fifty-plus score in 14 innings. Since his century against India in Kingston last year, in 13 innings, Jayawardene had scored 218 at 16.76. He averages 38.03 in finals, which is higher than his career average of 33.17.
- Jayawardene's 75 was his 11th fifty-plus score in the finals of an ODI series. With this, he joined Kumar Sangakkara at No. 3 in the list of batsmen with most fifty-plus scores in finals of any ODI tournament. Sachin Tendulkar leads this list with 16 such scores followed by another Sri Lankan, Sanath Jayasuriya, who has 15 fifty-plus scores.
- Sri Lanka's third wicket added 156 runs after Saeed Ajmal's twin strikes pegged them back, which is the second-highest partnership for the third wicket by any pair in the final of a tournament and only the second to cross 150 runs. Mohammad Azharuddin and Navjot Sidhu added an unbeaten 175 against Sri Lanka in the 1994-95 Asia Cup final, which is the highest partnership in the tournament for the third wicket.
- Jayawardene's four off a free-hit from Mohammad Talha in the 36th over was his 1000th in ODIs. He joins nine other batsmen who have hit 1000 or more fours in ODIs. Jayasuriya (1500 fours) and Sangakkara (1202 fours) are the other Sri Lanka batsmen in this list.
- Lasith Malinga took all the five Pakistan wickets that fell in this match. This was his seventh five-wicket haul and his second five-for against Pakistan in two consecutive matches against them. This is the first time that a bowler has taken two five-fors against a team in a tournament involving five or more teams. Mallinga's ten wickets against Pakistan are the most by a bowler against a team in such tournaments. In ODIs when Sri Lanka have taken four or more wickets against the opposition, this is the first time that one bowler has taken all the wickets.
- In the league match between these teams, Pakistan seemed to be cruising at 252 for 5 chasing 285, when Malinga turned the match on its head by taking five wickets in 14 deliveries. Malinga continued his rampage against Pakistan batsman in this match taking three more wickets off the first 15 balls he bowled. At this point, he had taken eight wickets in 29 deliveries against them giving away 21 runs in bargain. He finished the series with ten wickets against them at 10.8 runs per wicket.
- Saeed Ajmal and Malinga finished the series with 11 wickets each - the highest in this series. Overall in the Asia Cup, four of the top-five wicket takers are from Sri Lanka, with Muttiah Muralitharan leading the list with 30 wickets. Ajantha Mendis, who didn't get to play in this match, is next with 26 wickets.
- Fawad Alam's unbeaten 114 was his first century in ODIs. His previous highest ODI score had come in Pakistan's last match, against Bangladesh, when he scored 74. Alam has now scored 791 runs at 46.52 from 27 innings. His 188 runs in this Asia Cup are the highest he has scored in any series, beating the 153 runs he scored against England in in 2010.
- Fawad''s century was the first from a Pakistan left-handed batsman who was not opening for them. There have been 480 ODI innings from left handers batting in the Pakistan middle-order (No. 3 to No. 8), but this is the first time a batsman has scored a century. Including Alam's, only ten centuries have been hit by Pakistan batsmen in the finals of any ODI series. Pakistan's previous highest score by a left-handed batsman batting at No. 3 or lower was an unbeaten 97 by Aamer Sohail against India in Toronto in 1998.
- Fawad's ton was only the fourth by a Pakistan batsman in the final of an ODI tournament. The last batsman to hit a hundred in a final for them was Salman Butt, who made an unbeaten 129 against India at the same venue in 2008. The other two such centuries for Pakistan have come from Saeed Anwar, against India in 1998, and against Sri Lanka in Sharjah in 1993.
- After Pakistan's top order was jolted by Lasith Malinga - all their top-three batsman could manage only single-figure scores - their middle order weighed in for them, with their No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 all scoring fifty-plus runs. This was the first time in ODIs that single digit scores from a team's first-three batsmen were followed by fifty-plus scores from their next three. Also, this was only the tenth occasion in ODIs when the No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 batsmen of a team all scored fifty-plus in an innings.
- Pakistan's fourth and fifth-wicket partnerships yielded 237 runs in this match, which is the highest these two wickets have added for Pakistan in any ODI. This was also the first time there were century partnerships from both their fourth and fifth wickets.
- Akmal scored yet another half-century in this match - his third fifty-plus score of the series in five innings. He ended up with 253 runs in this Asia Cup: the highest he has scored in any series. Akmal averaged 84.33 runs per innings in this Asia cup and scored his runs at a strike rate of 110.48. His 235 runs from No. 6 are the third-highest any Pakistan batsman has scored in a series from that position and only the third time such batsmen have scored 200 or more runs. Two of these instances have been by Akmal. He had scored 240 runs in the 2011 World Cup, but had taken six innings to do so. Shahid Afridi's 265 runs in the 2010 Asia Cup are the highest by a Pakistan No. 6 in a series.
- Misbah-ul-Haq walked in to bat at what should be now an all too familiar situation for him. Pakistan were down three on 18 runs. He rebuilt the innings with Alam, adding 122 for the fourth wicket, before he got out to Malinga in an effort to capitalise on the Powerplay overs. He had scored 65 runs by then and yet again got out without getting to three figures. This was his 37th ODI fifty and only the seventh time a Pakistan captain had scored a fifty in the final of an ODI series.
Shiva Jayaraman is a sub-editor (stats) at ESPNcricinfo.com
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