Bowlers' day out as Sri Lanka take series
Sri Lanka A 114 for 7 (Udawatte 28, Rehman 3-29) beat Pakistan A 112 (Amin 31, Udana 2-16, Bandara 2-13) by three wickets
Sri Lanka A scripted a come-from-behind series win after prevailing in a low-scoring fifth ODI at the P Sara Oval. After restricting Pakistan A to 112, the hosts struggled with the bat but overcame the scare to win by three wickets. Sri Lanka took the series 3-2 after losing the first two games.
All the Sri Lankan bowlers chipped in to bundle out the visitors within 35 overs. The openers Umar Amin and Khalid Latif began steadily, adding 32, before Farveez Maharoof struck twice in one over. When Amin fell, with the score on 60, the rest crumbled. The spin duo of Muthumudalige Pushpakumara and Malinga Bandara, the match-winners from the fourth game, hastened the collapse by sharing four wickets between them. Pakistan lost their last eight wickets for 62 runs and the collapse put tremendous pressure on the bowlers, especially with the series at stake.
Their seamers gave them hope early on when the hosts got off to a shaky start, stumbling to 23 for 3. Mahela Udawatte and Gihan Rupasinghe ensured a steady flow of runs with a stand of 42 off 37 balls, before the seamer Abdur Rehman struck. He removed the pair in quick succession and later accounted for Pushpakumara, leaving Sri Lanka at 90 for 7. Lahiru Thirimanne eased the nerves and guided his side home in the 23rd over. Rehman was the most effective of the bowlers, taking 3 for 29.
Pakistan had earlier claimed the two-Test series 1-0.