Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Hambantota August 23, 2014

Maqsood, Fawad power Pakistan in stunning chase


Pakistan 277 for 6 (Maqsood 89, Fawad 62) beat Sri Lanka 275 for 7 (Mathews 89, Jayawardene 63, Wahab 3-50) by four wickets (D/L method)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Three-fourths of the way through this first ODI, the match seemed to be over as a contest. But just when the spectators at Hambantota might have resigned themselves to watch the game drag itself to a stultifying finish, Pakistan staged one of those incredible revivals that sprinkle 50-over cricket with a dash of magic. The protagonists in this drama were Sohaib Maqsood and Fawad Alam, who added 147 runs for the sixth wicket, in 117 balls, to bring Pakistan back from the dead and drag them over the line with one ball left to play, after all manner of final-over drama. It was only the second time in the last three years that Pakistan had successfully chased a 250-plus target.

In a match shortened to 45 overs a side following a shower that began six overs into the game and lasted just under an hour, Sri Lanka had set Pakistan 275 to win. They had recovered from 75 from 4 in the 18th over, thanks to Angelo Mathews, who made his highest ODI score and put on 116 for the fifth wicket with Mahela Jayawardene, and thanks to an unbeaten 15-ball 39 from Ashan Priyanjan, who had thrown Pakistan's pace bowlers off their line with his movement around the crease.

Having sent Sri Lanka in and had them in trouble, with his trio of left-arm seamers exploiting the bounce and overcast conditions, Misbah-ul-Haq had seen the game slip alarmingly from Pakistan's grasp. His own tactics had played some part in this momentum shift - he brought spin on from both ends and spread his fields almost as soon as the Jayawardene-Mathews partnership had begun - and Sri Lanka had taken full toll, scoring 60 runs from their last five overs and 105 from the last 10.

Halfway through the chase, Pakistan had lost even more momentum and were sinking without a trace. Mohammad Hafeez, Younis Khan and Umar Akmal had perished trying to boost a sluggish scoring rate, and Ahmed Shehzad, who had looked good without quite getting beyond third gear, got a good ball from Thisara Perera, which nipped in off the track and bowled him through the gate. When Misbah-ul-Haq gloved an attempted sweep to the keeper, at the exact halfway point of the allotted 45 overs, Pakistan needed 169 runs at 7.5 an over.

Maqsood scored at a run a ball right from the time he walked in, but Fawad at the other end was struggling. The required rate was creeping up towards nine an over when Maqsood ran down the pitch to the first ball of the 33rd over, and was beaten by extravagant turn from Rangana Herath. So was Kumar Sangakkara behind the stumps, however, and Maqsood had a life and Pakistan four byes.

Having let Maqsood off, Sri Lanka's worries grew as he began finding the boundary roughly once an over. He punched a waist-high full-toss from Thisara Perera between the bowler and mid-off, sliced a length ball from Herath deliberately through the vacant slip area, and whipped a low Malinga full-toss - in the first over of the batting Powerplay - into the narrow gap between midwicket and deep square leg. Fawad, who till then had looked to bring Maqsood on strike whenever possible, then struck two fours off one Kulasekara over.

With three field-restricted overs still remaining, Pakistan now needed 72 from 48. Maqsood and Fawad, already sprinting frantically between the wickets, upped their game: in the next over from Malinga, they ran three doubles in four balls. Nineteen came off the next two overs, and Pakistan now needed 45 from 30: Pakistan were in routine Twenty20 territory.

All they needed was that one big over, and it came off a bowler who had tormented them during the Test series. The two batsmen at the crease hadn't been around for Herath to inflict any psychological damage on them, though, and all they saw were the gaps in the field. Fawad drilled Herath through cover, Maqsood swept him square, Fawad swept him fine. Fourteen came off that over, and Pakistan were coasting.

This being Pakistan, though, a bit of late drama was in order. Shahid Afridi provided it, predictably enough, after Fawad fell to a slower ball from Malinga. Afridi walked in with 22 required from 18, and he and Maqsood brought it down without too many alarms to five from the last over. Having given away singles off the first two balls, Kulasekara bowled a dot ball to Afridi. Three from three.

Afridi swung at the next ball, a short one, and missed. Maqsood hared out of his crease, trying to steal the strike. Afridi sent him back. Sangakkara underarmed a throw to the bowler. Maqsood was miles out. Kulasekara was at handshaking distance from the stumps. The ball slipped from his grasp and missed the stumps.

Kulasekara sent down the fifth ball. It was short and wide, and Afridi smacked it past point for four. Pakistan had lost this match more than once, but they had won when it counted.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Leonard on August 25, 2014, 18:09 GMT

    All of you who are still harping on the fact that Chandimal should be in the squad are living in a dream world, DC has failed miserably in the past 14 months, and his inclusion is now dragging the side down with his repeated failures, furthermore he is also depriving another player from playing in the 11. We lost this match because of his 2 fielding blunders, and his putrid batting. nuf said.

  • Android on August 25, 2014, 8:50 GMT

    @ prem2248 u got no point mate. fielding wise Dili Mahela doing better than youngsters. and Heraths fielding is not that bad-def average or above average! we know Sanga is not the best w/keeper but as a batsman-> u can't complain! definitely we need to changes our top order batting. Chandi/Thiri should play higher up if they r going to be in the side. this match (like last UAE test match) Angi also did a mistake. when the fawad/maqsood building the partnership he should hv atleast try Priyanjan a few (like the said test he didn't use Dilruwan a single over) hope he will learn to change tactics more innovatively!

  • Hristiyan on August 25, 2014, 8:30 GMT

    Yet another exiting match. Not too happy to see Sri Lanka lose, but really enjoyed the game. What are Sri Lanka and Pakistan win/loss ratios in Hambantota by the way? Does someone know?

  • Android on August 25, 2014, 8:27 GMT

    @ sara2a -u r correct on many man!Selectors ruined him frm the beginning.When he ws performing well, then selectors delayed his inclusion to the team for yrs & even after coming in to the team as he started to settle,they unsettled him (changin his position here&there,not givin matches etc I guess now he is not that psychologically settled due to what he experienced in the past. saying that I don't think its an excuse to include him to the team now.Let he develop well before dragging back so fast @ THEBEAST7 -Definitely he was better in the higher up&need to give more chances to bat higher up.But@the moment he is mentally not settled.He definitely need good supp to settled mentally.&SL batting order is also not at it best.Mahela (or if Thiri is included Thiri)should open with either Kusal or Dilshan.Dilshan seems to be going out of form. kusal needs to be more consistent.U cn b consistent while being aggressive!need propr ODI w/keeper.Sanga should be a pure batsman!

  • chandra on August 25, 2014, 8:17 GMT

    I thought Priyanjan is an all-rounder; if yes then why didn't he bowl a single over? We need to prepare for the world cup and select a team who can bat and bowl in bouncy wickets. I don't think this team well do at all in Australia and New Zealand.

  • Surath on August 25, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    @ sara2a: Yes you are correct on that one mate. Chandi should grab all those opportunities that comes his way because the way he is failing at the international level and since Thiri is also on the bench (having a better chance than Chandi since he is the VC in one format). Chandi will not get many chances Im afraid to prove he belongs unless like u said he makes some good runs in the next couple of games.

  • sara on August 25, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    @ THEBEAST7 : :-) Getting your preferred batting position is a bonus. If you're lucky, you will get it. But majority of the players around the world earn their place by performing down the order. If you are good enough, you have to be able to perform to a reasonable level at any slot in the batting order. Of course there are positions where you do better, but not getting your preferred slot should not be an excuse for continuous failure...

    On the other hand, none of the recent dismissals of Chandimal were results of the match situation. If he got out trying to slog for example, then he can put the blame on his batting slot... But match situation didn't have anything to do with his recent failures, so it's just a lame excuse...

    That said, there is no doubt that he is a very exciting talent... I think the selectors are ruining a very bright future by picking him at this moment, and by not letting him work on his game...

  • Surath on August 25, 2014, 5:39 GMT

    @ sara2a: Chandi will come good surely for the world cup mate. He just needs to bat at 4. Mahela should open with Dilly, Sanga or Tharanga at 3 playing the anchor role while Chandi coming in at 4 followed by Tharanga or Sanga. If SLC needs Chandi to give his best, give him his place.

  • sara on August 25, 2014, 1:46 GMT

    @Danuka Perera ; You make a valid point, I too agree that Chandimal plays better on fast and bouncy pitches. But with the current form he is in, it's a huge risk to go to the world cup with him purely counting on his previous record on fast tracks... Giving him continuous chances to see if he regains form means that simultaneously we are losing our opportunity to try someone else... Unlike when he first came to the team and succeeded, his weakness at the bouncer is a well known fact now. In each of the recent series, bowlers exploited this to great effect. I don't think it's a safe bet to go by his previous success on bouncy tracks...

    Cricket is a funny game... if we play Chandi, he might even end up as the man of the series in the world cup... But leaving that uncertain nature of cricket aside, I feel it's just too much of a risk to persist with him given that we don't have much time to play with...

  • Jawwad on August 24, 2014, 21:00 GMT

    It was atrocious to play Fawad Alam in T20 and then drop him based on his performance in the particular format. The fans have always maintained Fawad is best suited for Test and ODI Cricket and look how the move is paying dividend with his classy rescue batting in last 2-3 ODI's. They need to immediately bring him into Test squad. On Afridi, before this series is over he will have at least one MoM performance to his name. Umar Akmal has now been given the bat up the order chances quiet few times and he is not utilizing it. I am not worried about Misbah and Younis but Wahab has turned out to surprise most with his decent control on ball. Irfan should play just last ODI now.

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