Second One-Day International

Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2005-06

At R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, March 19, 2006. Pakistan won by four wickets. Toss: Pakistan.

This was a low-scoring classic on a substandard pitch, tense and intriguing until the very end. Chasing a paltry 131, Pakistan slumped to 47 for five, and only limped home thanks to an unbeaten 41 from Abdul Razzaq. Inzamam-ul-Haq's decision to send Sri Lanka in on a muggy, overcast morning was soon justified: without Atapattu, whose back injury had flared up again, they crumpled to 56 for seven. Naved-ul-Hasan bowled beautifully, dismissing the promoted Kapugedera and then claiming Jayawardene for a duck with a fine outswinger. Sri Lanka's cause was not helped by two debatable lbw decisions, against Sangakkara and Tharanga, by the home umpire Tyron Wijewardene. They were saved from complete humiliation by some bizarre captaincy, as Inzamam swung on to the defensive and allowed Dilshan to find the gaps. This timidity almost led to a spectacular defeat, as Jayawardene marshalled his bowlers and fielders expertly, giving Pakistan a major scare. But Razzaq, playing with uncharacteristic caution until the very end, edged his side home.

Man of the Match: Abdul Razzaq.

© John Wisden & Co.