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Pathirana proves potential

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By Kristopher Hinz | July 16, 2015

Highlights of the second ODI between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on July 15, 2015

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The debutant from Kandy played an important role with bat and ball, giving his home crowd much to cheer about. © AFP

The tone setter: Bowling the first over, Sri Lanka’s captain Angelo Mathews showcased his desire to lead from the front. He proved the old adage: if you want something done right, it is best to do it yourself. Mathews laid down the blueprint for a strong Sri Lankan performance with a maiden to start the Pakistan innings.

The debutant’s magical moment: Sachith Pathirana grabbed the first wicket of the Pakistan innings thanks to an inside edge that shattered the stumps of the out-of-form Ahmed Shezad, who was looking to slog-sweep after an opening stand of 59. Pathirana celebrated in grand style as his home crowd went wild.

The veteran’s response: Shoaib Malik continued his excellent form following his return to the ODI side with a stunning 51, taking the attack to the Sri Lankan spinners before Angelo Mathews removed him with a delivery that nipped away and hit the timber to leave the visitors at 179/4.

Rizwan signals his intent: Mohammad Rizwan had meandered his way calmly to 22 by the 42nd over but showed he wanted to take the attack to Sri Lanka at the death with a stunning shot for four down the ground. Pakistan then went on to smash more than 50 runs in the remaining overs to set a daunting total.

Kusal gets going: After a streaky and rather unorthodox boundary to get off the mark, the swashbuckling Kusal Perera hit his straps in the following one, slashing Rahat Ali inside-out over cover, then cutting the ball straight to the fielder, before spanking two more fours and a six in the over on his way to the second-fastest fifty in ODI history in a Man of the Match performance.

The frantic flurry of wickets: With Tillakaratne Dilshan cruising in first gear, Rahat Ali responded after his initial poor spell with a stunning delivery that crashed into the stumps of Sri Lanka’s veteran opener to set the home crowd’s nerves fluttering. Pakistan then hit the ascendancy after Mathews was run-out thanks to some hesitation from the non-striker Lahiru Thirimanne. When the latter was caught brilliantly at third-man, Sri Lanka was floundering at 159/5 and the game had turned completely.

Pathirana proves potential: The debutant Pathirana unleashed several convincing strokes in a crucial partnership with Dinesh Chandimal, but truly showed he was one to keep after he elegantly drove Yasir Shah for a stunning boundary and later lofted him straight down the ground for a six. He advanced down the wicket to Shah to bring up the 50-run stand between the pair shortly after but he then threw it in the very next ball.

Sri Lanka edge home: Sri Lanka however still had plenty of batting left in the sheds, with quality stroke-players — the likes of allrounder Thisara Perera — coming in at No. 9. Although Perera was caught off a leading edge for 15, the damage had been done after a 37-run stand and Dinesh Chandimal soon polished off the required runs.

© Island Cricket
 

 

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