Sangakkara run-out was turning point - Dilshan
Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan has described the run-out of Kumar Sangakkara during the chase as the turning point of the third ODI in Dubai, which Pakistan won by 21 runs to go 2-1 up in the series.
A 106-run stand between Sangakkara and Dilshan for the second wicket had seemingly put Sri Lanka on course to overhauling the target of 258 in Dubai, before a direct hit from Shahid Afridi dismissed Sangakkara. Dilshan rued the run-out and his own dismissal soon after, which allowed Pakistan back into the game.
"Sanga [Sangakkara] was run out and I got out off a really bad ball - that was the turning point," Dilshan said. "I should have finished the game after we had a set up a good chase. If I had stayed [at the crease] for another five or six overs then it might be a different story and we might have reached the target easily."
Dilshan, however, was still optimistic about the next two games in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, which give Sri Lanka a chance to take the series. "We did very well though we weren't 100% in a few areas. But we have to carry on with the positive things we did, especially for Sharjah, as we have to take one game at a time. We have to try to win the fourth and then go to Abu Dhabi and try to win the series."
Pakistan mainly rode on Mohammad Hafeez and Imran Farhat's 151-run opening partnership that helped them to set up a moderate target. "They batted very well but our bowlers realised, after seeing their openers, that if we can try and keep them under 275, that is a gettable target," Dilshan said. "The last 20 overs we bowled really very well and to be able to restrict them under 260, it was a great effort as a bowling unit."
Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, was in a relaxed mood after taking the series lead. "Victory is always good," Misbah said. "Batting second is [usually] slightly difficult on this pitch because the ball skids on, but today the pitch was different and it wasn't that difficult [like in the] first two games. Credit should be given to all the bowlers, especially to the spinners."
Misbah was concerned that despite the large opening stand his batsmen couldn't push on to a bigger total. "That was a wonderful partnership between Hafeez and Farhat. Even if we played normally [after that] we should have got near 300 but the phase around the Powerplay cost us many wickets," he said. "That was our setback, but Younis Khan stayed for a while and helped us to put up a respectable total. Otherwise, even 240 looked tough for a while.
"This is a concern for us and we have to improve. The set batsman in the middle should carry on their good work to finish the innings well."
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent