4th ODI

Pakistan v Sri Lanka in the UAE, 2011-12

At Sharjah, November 20, 2011 (day/night). Pakistan won by 26 runs. Toss: Pakistan.

Shahid Afridi took over Sharjah on a crazy, nostalgic evening, as he alone scripted a stunning triumph out of thin air to give his side an unbeatable 3-1 series lead. A muddy pitch had reduced Pakistan to 71 for five when Afridi joined Sharjah's return to top-flight one-day international cricket - it was their 201st, but the first involving Test nations since April 2003. With due care, Afridi built a total, his singles and doubles cheered as loudly as the more familiar boundaries as Pakistan reached 200. Even that didn't look enough as Sangakkara and Jayawardene took the reply to 155 for three - 46 needed, seven wickets in hand, more than 12 overs to go. But Afridi, who had briefly gone off with what looked like a nasty knee injury, dismissed Sangakkara with a ripper, and spectators sniffed a Pakistan special. Duly it came, as Afridi - and Saeed Ajmal - manufactured a collapse of seven for 19 in 46 balls, to parallel any of the great Sharjah nights.

Man of the Match: Shahid Afridi.

© John Wisden & Co.