2nd ODI

Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2012

Rex Clementine

At Pallekele, June 9, 2012 (day/night). Sri Lanka won by 76 runs.
Toss: Sri Lanka. One-day international debut: Rahat Ali.

Dilshan, who had scored only 28 in three innings, dropped anchor in a reassuring hundred on a batsman-friendly pitch. But it was Perera, emerging as an all-round force, who catapulted Sri Lanka to a comfortable victory. He gave the innings late impetus with 24 off 14 deliveries, prompting his coach Graham Ford to make comparisons with Lance Klusener. Then, brought on as second change after the new ball failed to separate the openers, he instantly set in motion Pakistan's slump with a sharp diving return catch to dismiss Mohammad Hafeez. Each of Perera's next two spells also began with a wicket; figures of six for 44 were his best in one-day cricket, and the best by anyone against Pakistan, beating five for 16 by Carl Rackemann at Adelaide in 1983-84 and Sourav Ganguly at Toronto in 1997-98. Azhar Ali constructed a fluent 96, full of delightful timing, to confound the belief that he was a Test specialist. But when he was yorked by Kulasekara, the chase fizzled out.

Man of the Match: N. L. T. C. Perera.

© John Wisden & Co.