About the Match
In a rain-affected 1st ODI match, Pakistan emerged victorious against the home side Sri Lanka by 4 wickets through the D/L method and has taken 1-0 lead in the 3 match series after having lost the test series earlier on. They now face each other on 26th Aug for the second ODI at Hambantota wherein Sri Lanka will try to make a comeback and level the contest. Pakistan’s stunning chase of 275 runs in 45 overs saw some excellent performance from the lower-middle order batsmen, who held on to their determination and saw their team through to take the first advantage; the Lankans weren’t the better side on that particular day but they will surely come out all guns blazing on Tuesday.
Put to bat first in the first match, the top order struggled against the Pakistani pace attack; it was Jayawardene’s 63 off 66 balls and later his 116-run partnership with Mathews that brought them to a decent total of 275 runs in the reduced over match. While the captain struck 89 off 85 deliveries, a thunderous 39 off 15 balls by Priyanjan showed just how much of an all-rounder contribution he brings to the team. Defending the total, Mathews and Perera took 2 wickets each to dismiss the top order of the opponent; however, they couldn’t stop the run-flow, especially the onslaught of Fawad and Maqsood. Sangakkara and Jayawardene along with Mathews bring stability to the batting line-up but it’s time for the younger players to step up their game and contribute with the big runs. Herath has been in incredible form and along with Malinga can break the spirits of any opposing batsmen; overall the team suffered a surprising defeat in the first match but they will be better-prepared this time around to show their superiority to the visitors.
Chasing 275 runs, the team was in dire straits when Fawad Alam and Sohaib Maqsood took charge and added 147 runs for the 6th wicket to win the match by 4 wickets; while the latter scored 89 off 73 balls, Fawad posted a well-made 62 off 61 deliveries; opener Ahmed Shehzad too played well, just missing his half-century by 1 run while Afridi helped them cross the mark towards the end. Misbah’s dry spell continues but hopefully he should be able to make a comeback before it’s too late; Umar Akmal and Younis Khan also need to pull up their socks in the middle and go for the big shots to keep the scoreboard ticking. In the bowling department Wahab Riaz continues to make his presence felt, taking 3 wickets for just 50 runs in the previous match. Mohammad Irfan and Hafeez also contributed with the wickets while Junaid Khan is yet to see favourable results in the one-day matches after having performed brilliantly in the test series. The team has many talented players and some experienced old horses too; they just need to remain focused and push the pedal harder to take home the series.
The defeat in the first match would have surely hurt the Lankans and they will be eager to make a turnaround on Tuesday; while Pakistan looks good to cause an upset once again, the home team will come back stronger and look well placed to win this match.
Sri Lanka, 1.72 @ Bet365