Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, Dubai November 14, 2011

Jayawardene, quicks help Sri Lanka level series


Sri Lanka 235 for 7 (Tharanga 77, Jayawardene 50, Ajmal 3-61) beat Pakistan 210 (Umar 91, Malinga 3-36) by 25 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The ICC's latest fiddle with the rules was primarily responsible for the intrigue in Dubai, where the tale of two batting Powerplays decided the course of the second ODI. Sri Lanka stole 48 off theirs, to poke a slumbering innings to life and propel a surge that yielded 136 runs off their last 20 overs. Chasing 236, Pakistan were rocked by seam before Umar Akmal's dazzling strokeplay left them needing 93 off the last 15 overs, when their Powerplay came into force. A hat-trick of boundaries from Umar reduced the equation to 72 at under a run-a-ball, but he holed out attempting a fourth successive four in the restrictions. Sri Lanka roared back with two more quick breaches, pegging the Powerplay damages at 26 for 3, and steadily closed the game out thereafter.

If the match was played before October 1, Pakistan might have waited for the very end to call the field in, and Umar might have remained cautious until then. As it transpired, Umar heaved Dilhara Fernando over mid-on, before backing away and scything him through point and blazing him through the covers for fours in the 38th over. He looked to muscle the next ball over mid-on as well, but Dinesh Chandimal intercepted well to give Sri Lanka an opening.

Umar's exit ended a 62-run stand, and there was more trouble when Lasith Malinga removed the set Sarfraz Ahmed next ball, to a questionable lbw call, with Pakistan out of reviews. Thisara Perera then dismissed Umar Gul to put Sri Lanka on the brink, but Shahid Afridi kept fighting. Tillakaratne Dilshan, however, ended Afridi's cameo, and Pakistan's hopes, with a direct-hit from point.

Dilshan's athleticism at the end of the evening was in stark contrast to his sluggish footwork while at the crease. Sri Lanka weathered an exemplary new-ball spell from Gul through gumption and fortune - mostly the latter in the captain's case. Nine times in that spell, Dilshan groped and and missed balls that buzzed away off the seam, before shouldering arms to one that came in and passed perilously close to the stumps. Just when it seemed like Dilshan could get away with anything, Afridi slipped a patent faster one past a lazy cut to wreck his stumps.

Upul Tharanga had two escapes, dropped at cover by Imran Farhat, and by the keeper Sarfraz, but fought along gamely. Kumar Sangakkara, however, fell by the wayside, leaving Sri Lanka reading from a script similar to the first game: the pitch was drastically losing pace, and Pakistan's all-sorts middle-overs specialists were tying them down. Two maidens were played out, Dinesh Chandimal combusted, and Mahela Jayawardene conceded another maiden as Sri Lanka's outlook worsened by the moment. But the script was about to be rewritten in the Powerplay.

In the 36th over, Jayawardene sensed release and launched Afridi over extra-cover and the straight field for fours. Tharanga too cashed in, taking Saeed Ajmal for a raft of boundaries as Pakistan's spin gambit in the Powerplay backfired. Jayawardene pounded Gul for two more fours through the off side, and Sri Lanka had finally found their voice in the Middle East. The innings gradually decelerated thereafter, with Tharanga and Angelo Mathews falling at inopportune moments, but the Powerplay had provided enough momentum for Sri Lanka to post a respectable total. A 17-run final over from Ajmal helped the cause too.

With runs to back him up, Malinga bowled with a freedom that was conspicuously absent in the first ODI. His first ball was on the pads, and Mohammad Hafeez duly whipped it for four, but the radar came on immediately. Two balls later Malinga zipped one away off the seam, and Hafeez nicked behind as he tried to cover the line without getting across. Younis Khan then fiddled at the sort of ball he had avoided so assiduously in the Tests, and Sangakkara veritably flew to his right, to grab the edge in front of first slip. Thisara backed up Malinga with equally felicitous seam-work, and pinned Farhat with one that nipped in. Farhat left Pakistan in more trouble than they needed at 11 for 3, using up their only review on his way out.

Misbah-ul-Haq guided Umar through the troubled waters, blunting the new balls and saving resources for late. Umar interspersed Misbah's defiance with a streak of breath-taking strokes, starting with a flick and a drive off Malinga. Fernando hurried him into a pull against an effort ball, but the chance slipped past Mathews' lunge at short extra cover. Pakistan seemed to have restored parity when Umar hit back with two punchy fours, before heaving the first ball of Fernando's sixth over for a six. But Sri Lanka reclaimed control when Misbah walked into an inswinger in the same over. Abdul Razzaq's run-out gave Sri Lanka a firmer grip, but Sarfraz and Umar wrested the advantage back with 15 overs left. The Powerplay was about to provide the final twist, though.

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Habib on November 17, 2011, 8:45 GMT

    Cricket should be played as a sport, not a political campaign...Pak--Kiwi

  • Habib on November 17, 2011, 4:10 GMT

    Dear beloved Pakistani's,

    I am sure most of you people have innocently forgotten that, Sri Lanka came 2nd in the cricket world cup. So they are good. (Although we came 3rd) We should not underestimate them...

    Go Pakistan...Pak--Kiwi

  • Tom on November 17, 2011, 0:47 GMT

    Umer Akmal is no good with the gloves and he is no better than his brother Kamran. He is no match with SagaKara who is among top batsman and wicket keeper. I think he should concentrate more on one day and T20 batting alone as he is even not good for Test yet. Sarfaraz Ahmad is a good batsman and a much better keeper and should be given many chances to perform. Mohd Yousuf, Asad Shafiq and Fawad Alam should be in the side in place of Imran Farhat and Taufeeq Umer. Cheema is a hard worker but he is no good with bat which we really need. Hafeez, Asad, Yousuf, Younis, Misbah, Umer, Afridi, Sarfaraz, Razzaq, Gul & Ajmal completes the team.

  • Dinesh on November 16, 2011, 19:14 GMT

    Sri-Lanka was lucky to win this match. Anyway this series will be won by Pakistan. Sri-Lanka has never performed well against Pakistan in the 50 over format. Sri-Lanka is strong in paper, they are really no good with top test playing nations. Dilshan should be dropped as the captain and Matthews should lead the pack. Hope Marsh does some magic ! ! ! ! ! Otherwise need to bring players like Aravinda,Murali,Arjuna,Vaas,Mahanama,Sanath etc. back to the team. lol

  • Asim on November 16, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    if snagkara who is world topest batsman now in the cricket is doing job of Wicketkeeping then why umer akaml not? Farhat should be dropped now atleast,extermy talented crickter Asad Shafiq is siiting on the bench and wasitng his talent. my team is..Hafeez,Asad,Yunas,Misbah,Umer,Shoaib Malik,Afrdi,Razaq,ajmal,junaid.. This time Hafeez Gone Deliver Hundred In 3rd ODI...He is only talented and fullfling his job....Best luck Hafeez and Best luck PAK

  • Bilal on November 16, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    Pakistan defeated Pakistan as Srilanka was almost as bad as in the first match,Dropped catches, careless top order batting,Umar Akmal throwing his wicket and the runouts of Afridi and Abdul Razzaq were the reasons for their defeat

  • viran on November 16, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    A good wing for sl. Very lucky and bad batting by sl opener which put a lot of stress on the middle order.

  • Dummy4 on November 16, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    Annoying as Farhat was, I wish he wouldn't be replaced by Malik, but I fear he will because poor Misbah daren't cross Zardari if he values his job, and Malik met with zardari... @Haleos: Oh for heaven's sake! We all know how unreliable Afridi is with the bat. But he was RUN OUT this time, yes he did escape a dropped catch but you probably haven't noticed he often escapes dropped catches, only he offers another. He didn't this time. He even hit a lovely straight drive, and other than the skier played uncharacteristically well. @Muhammad Umer Farooq: I'm no cricket expert but I thought Hafeez got out to a much better ball than Younis, who does have a tendency to chase balls outside off, and can be as stupid in ODIs as he is exceptional in Tests, for some reason only he knows. @shabbeee: Misbah is excellent at both ground fielding and catching, and running between the wickets, whatever else his faults. @Farhan Sheikh: Well said. It all boiled down to one run-out too many in the end.

  • yasiru on November 16, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    @goldeneye075 and who ever cretisise chandimal,he played aggresive was he who lifted up srilankan runrate in the first odi,did you blame him for that?and this time did you notice how we were going from 20th-30th overs?we only scored 17 runs,that is why chandimal tried to score big shots to lift the runrate,and he played balls on it's merit he played aggressive for loose balls only but unluckly they didn't connect.don't forget nobody is perfect but when ever chandimal came to bat he looked comfortable in the crease.@ samindashj 2002 wicket keeper is an important position in a side it need experiance chandimal can keep wicket later but sangakkara is more experianced in the job,and if your point is true sangakkara can't field to save runs so then wicket keeping is the best position for him because he will not leak runs as a fielder,and i agree with you about randiv although his bawling is not enaugh to take wickets he can hold one endand support thisara and malinga

  • Dummy4 on November 16, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    @golde.-Dude Chandimal is a 21 yr old..What are you talking..He has decades left in him no he`ll going to be our next great batsman...At the age of 21 no one even knew about Sanga...Sanath became a decent player at 26..Dont you remember how Kholi played for India in his first tour to Sri Lanka ?..He looked like a school cricketer..Just give him time,he`ll be all right...@ others-I dont think Mahela should open...We need him at no 5.. Although he scores well at the top SL need an experienced player at no 5.

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