2nd ODI, Pallekele

Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2015

At Pallekele, July 15, 2015 (day/night). Sri Lanka won by two wickets. Toss: Pakistan. One-day international debut: S. S. Pathirana.
Kusal Perera's manic 68 from 25 balls gave his side the impetus needed to attack a big target: only one higher total had been successfully chased in Sri Lanka, when Pakistan's 288 was overhauled at Dambulla in August 2009. Perera has often been compared to Sanath Jayasuriya, and his assault here matched Jayasuriya's national record for the fastest fifty, which he reached in just 17 deliveries. He edged his second ball over the slips for four, then in the second over walloped three fours and a six off Rahat Ali, before cracking Mohammad Irfan for three fours in successive legal deliveries. Azhar Ali turned to spin, but Perera was severe on Mohammad Hafeez as well, collecting consecutive fours to hurtle past 50. When he finally holed out in the ninth over, having clobbered 13 fours and two sixes, Sri Lanka already had 92 on the board. Rahat slowed things down with three wickets, but Chandimal took control of the final push. He put on 52 with Sachith Pathirana - another debutant, who had earlier taken two expensive wickets - but the late loss of Tissara Perera made for a tense finish. Azhar Ali had underpinned Pakistan's total, which was swelled by Mohammad Rizwan's 52 from 38 balls.
Man of the Match: M. D. K. J. Perera.

© John Wisden & Co