Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Dubai November 11, 2011

Shocking Sri Lanka hammered in first ODI


Pakistan 132 for 2 (Younis 56*, Farhat 50) beat Sri Lanka 131 (Afridi 3-27, Ajmal 2-21) by eight wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Sri Lanka's batsmen betrayed a shocking lack of stomach in moderately helpful conditions for the bowlers, to crash to an eight-wicket humbling in the first ODI in Dubai. After losing the toss, Pakistan rolled the years back with a vintage bowling display - their fast bowlers softened the prey, before the allrounders and spinners came on to make incisions. Sri Lanka responded with indecisive prods, and a rash of strokes each uglier than the previous. They were bowled out for 131 with 57 balls to spare, and Pakistan strolled home in the 22nd over of their chase to put an early end to the weekend crowd's evening.

Sri Lanka's train-wreck of an innings featured only five fours, all of which were hit within the first 20 overs, and three sixes. The last of those - a heave against hope hopen from Lasith Malinga - broke a boundary drought that had lasted nearly 20 overs. Such was the stranglehold Pakistan wielded in the middle overs, and their spin spearhead Saeed Ajmal had almost no role to play in it.

Only one man stood between Pakistan and the paltry chase, but Lasith Malinga wasn't at his best on his return to action. He overstepped twice in his first over, and went on to send down two more no-balls - one of them for height. His lines were inconsistent, and his famed yorker did not make an appearance at all. Suranga Lakmal's dismissal of Mohammad Hafeez gave Sri Lanka some hope, but Imran Farhat's free-scoring more than made up for the loss. Younis Khan too purred along smoothly with a series of typical whips and glances as Pakistan bolted to a 1-0 lead.

The felicity with which Pakistan made their runs put the conditions, and the earlier efforts of their bowling colleagues, in perspective. The strip had a wee bit in it for every kind of quick - Umar Gul's seam, Aizaz Cheema's swing and Abdul Razzaq's legcutters - and the Pakistan trio exploited it right from the get-go. Gul lay down the marker in the first over of the game, with a big swinging wide down the leg side, and an away seamer that bounced explosively past Tillakaratne Dilshan's attempted slash. Dilshan perfected the shot in first ball of the the next over, but perished four balls later when Cheema got one to buzz in sharply onto the stumps off the inside edge.

Despite being in prime form, Kumar Sangakkara could barely lay bat on ball. A rare couple of boundaries suggested a release, but they were promptly followed by a string of 19 successive dots. The returning Razzaq put Sangakkara out of his misery in his first over, coaxing an outside edge with a ball that angled across.

Hafeez then settled into a typically asphyxiating rhythm, mixing up arm balls with darts that straightened. Dinesh Chandimal counterpunched by launching Razzaq over long-on for six, before scything him through cover for four. The aggression wore off on Upul Tharanga, who had pottered around to 21 off 52 balls before slicing Hafeez for a boundary over the off side. He perished three balls later, hoicking rashly to mid-on, and sadly for Sri Lanka, the poor shot selection set in like an epidemic.

Shahid Afridi came on, his appetite for the limelight undiminished by his brief retirement. He tossed up four balls, the fourth of which Chandimal clattered over long-on for six. Afridi removed him with the next ball - the patent quicker one catching the batsman on the crease, followed by the trademark arms-aloft celebration. He then rapped Mahela Jayawardene on the pads, and had his vociferous appeal turned down. When he was captain, Afridi would have signalled the referral immediately, almost as an extension of the appeal. This time, he turned to Misbah-ul-Haq in the covers, nodding his head vigorously to convince him, before asking for a review. The referral went Sri Lanka's way, but little else did.

Angelo Mathews spent 31 balls at the crease without adjusting to Hafeez's lack of turn before running himself out. Kosala Kulaseakara, yet to open his account in his debut innings, chose to chip a full ball straight to mid-off. Jayawardene watched aghast as he kept losing partners, before contributing his bit to the madness by lapping Ajmal from outside off stump to short fine-leg. Sri Lanka's misery was complete soon after, with Afridi and Ajmal producing enough variety to brush aside the tail. Dilshan's men will need a drastic change in approach before the second game on November 14.

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • murali_knair on November 14, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    Sri Lanka has not done anything better for the past over six months, yet they are ranked second in the ODI, above India and South Africa. They lost the home series against Australia, yet they are ranked high. As some captaians say, this ranking system is not at all reflecting the actual position. How Sri Lanks gets this kind of favoritism is yet to find out.

  • FAMATH on November 13, 2011, 11:36 GMT

    Please pay them their salaries & ask them to one work without getting paid for last 6 months

  • Behind_the_Wicket on November 13, 2011, 10:23 GMT

    Very sorry to say about my SL friends about that they are blaming the selection more the short selection of the batsmen, I think this was the team plan to go for attack but they didn't make plan B , If Plan A is not works then they should go for defensive mode, stay on the wicket and try to get a reasonable total but I didn't see anything.I can assure you there is nothing wrong with players , they are capable but they need to play according to the situation. Being a Pakistani , I congrats my team on winning a A Test Series and 1st win in ODIs Series , KEEP IT UP , PAKISTAN ZINDAABAD

  • kalins on November 13, 2011, 6:31 GMT

    Sri Lanka is keep on showing they are struggling and becoming worst. Its better that most senior and previous captains (Mahela or Sanga) to think about the country and get back and manage the side. Which means either one of them to take over captaincy and take back the proud again to SL.

  • gularan on November 13, 2011, 5:16 GMT

    Why don't the srilankans adopt a leaf from Arjuna Ranatunge's very successful tactics book and always bat second irrespective of the state of the pitch in order to stem collapsing ina heap which seems to be the norm with them these days. I also think they have chosen a bum steer in Marsh as a coach. the whole coaching contingent seems to be busy with their own thoughts, glued to their seats and watching stoically instead of talking and advising the players like the Aussie coaching team. It is a sad and frustrating scenario for us die hard Sri Lankan cricket fans to see a very talented set of cricketers go to seed like this.

  • Maduka43 on November 13, 2011, 2:23 GMT

    First comments for espncrincinfo. I'm not die hard fan in cricket. But as a Srilankan, I don't like the way ppl who in this site comments on our small island boys. Please show some sportsmenship.everyone's has good and bad period.even sports like cricket.

  • cric_freak88 on November 13, 2011, 0:09 GMT

    i dont understand why people r saying its a rebuilding phase for SL cricket , only murali is the absentee since the worldcup final , ppl keep saying vaas and sanath have gone, but they were never in the selection contention,they werent even in the worldcup squad where SL did so well ! i think its more to do with poor team selection to go with the poor and reckless captaincy of Dilshan.

  • dicky_boy on November 12, 2011, 21:34 GMT

    What happened to the srilankans team we beat in the wc final....

  • dummy4fb on November 12, 2011, 19:44 GMT

    Credit goes to Trio, Butt,aamir,asif..hats of u guys...u guys saved pak cricket :D

  • dummy4fb on November 12, 2011, 19:30 GMT

    Lol it seems to me that every one is a selector here. Sirilanka is in rebuilding phase so hopefully they will bounce back. It happens wid every team who is in rebuilding phase but i must say one thing that sirilankan youngsters must cash these chances

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