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Sri Lanka end ODI series on a high

Kusal Perera

By Amlan Chakraborty | July 26, 2015

Kusal Perera raced to his second ODI century, scoring 100 off 90 balls. © Reuters

Sri Lanka salvaged some pride after battering Pakistan by 165 runs in the fifth and final one-dayer at Hambantota on Sunday.

Pakistan went into the match with an unassailable 3-1 lead but the hosts looked determined to make a point, which they did by posting 368 for four, their highest ODI total against the visitors.

Tillakaratne Dilshan (62) became the fourth Sri Lankan batsman to score 10,000 ODI runs and Kusal Perera (116) hit his second 50-overs century, the openers scoring 164 runs in about 25 overs.

Capitalising on the flying start, skipper Angelo Mathews and Milinda Siriwardana hit breezy unbeaten half-centuries as they plundered 114 runs in the final 9.1 overs of the innings.

Pakistan, who won the preceding test series as well, were never really in the chase, all out for 203 in the 38th over.

For them, skipper Azhar Ali (35) and Mohammad Hafeez (37) got the starts but they never had any substantial partnership which could have taken them anywhere near the target.

Off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake (3-39) was the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers.

Earlier, justifying Mathews' decision to bat first, Perera and Dilshan overcame occasional discomfort to score freely and set the tone for the team.

Having brought up his fifty, Dilshan took a single off Shoaib Malik to join compatriots Kumar Sangakkara, Sanath Jayasuriya and Mahela Jayawardene in the 10,000-run club.

Perera needed 90 balls to bring up his century and, like Dilshan, was run out after a whirlwind knock that included four sixes and nine boundaries. It also earned him the man-of-the-match award.

Rahat Ali ended breezy cameos from Lahiru Thirimanne (30) and Dinesh Chandimal (29) but there was no respite for Pakistan.

Mathews (70 not out) needed 31 balls for his fifty while Siriwardana (52 not out) took six balls fewer, reaching the milestone by hitting his third six in the penultimate delivery of the Sri Lankan innings.

Hafeez, who scored 273 runs and took six wickets before being banned from bowling for an illegal action, was named man-of-the-series.

The teams now move to Colombo for two Twenty20 Internationals on Thursday and Saturday.

© Reuters


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