Sri Lanka A v Pakistan A, 3rd unofficial ODI, Colombo August 24, 2009

Openers hand Sri Lanka A convincing win

Cricinfo staff

Sri Lanka A 300 for 6 (Udawatte 131, Tharanga 107, Talha 3-60) beat Pakistan A 253 (Shehzad 91, Faisal 73, Udana 3-51) by 34 runs

Twin centuries by the Sri Lanka A openers handed the hosts a much-needed win to stay afloat in the five-match series against Pakistan A. Upul Tharanga and Mahela Udawatte's mammoth 222-run stand after Sri Lanka A chose to bat was followed up by some disciplined bowling as they sealed their maiden win via the D/L method.

Both batsmen looked firmly in control and scored at a brisk rate. While Tharanga hit 12 boundaries during his 129-ball stay, Udawatte smashed seven fours and a six in his 137-ball innings. Mohammad Talha tried to restore some pride for the visitors, ending with three wickets after a few late strikes, but Sri Lanka had reached 300.

Chasing 288 in 46 overs, Pakistan A were off on the wrong foot, with the Sri Lanka A seamers striking regularly to leave them struggling at 68 for 3. That allowed the introduction of Ahmed Shehzad and captain Faisal Iqbal who threatened to wrest the initiative with a 105-run stand.

Shehzad, whose 95-ball stay comprised six boundaries and three sixes, was finally undone by Malinga Bandara. That opened the floodgates for the seamers, and when Faisal finally departed on 73, having stroked just three fours, Sri Lanka A had closed in on the win. Isuru Udana was the most successful bowler for the hosts with 3 for 51, while Lasith Malinga and Farveez Maharoof picked up two wickets apiece.