About the Match
Sri Lanka made a comeback with a win in the 2nd ODI to draw level against Pakistan who had taken the first game; the 5-match series now is at 1-1 and both teams will try to get an upper hand by winning the 3rd ODI on 19th July at Colombo. The hosts registered a 2-wicket win in a tough chase for 288 runs but got there finally with 11 balls to spare. Pakistan, which has dominated the series right from the test matches earlier, will be eager to bounce back to winning ways; on the other hand, Sri Lanka will now try to consolidate its position and continue with their winning momentum.
KusalPerera’s thundering 68 off just 25 balls, which is Sri Lanka’s joint fastest ODI half-century, helped the team get off to a solid chase for 288 runs; with Dilshan and Chandimalscoring 40+ runs each, they found themselves in track to reach the target. They lost couple of wickets of Thirimanne and Mathews in the middle and ran into trouble; however, the young debutant SachithPathirana, posted a heroic 33 off 28 to take the team home safely to victory.
Earlier Pathirana and Malinga had picked up two wickets each and while the others provided regular breakthroughs, they couldn’t stop the hard-hitting Pakistani batsmen like Malik, Rizwan and Azhar Ali from scoring the big runs.
In the first ODI, the batting line-up had done well to post 255 runs on board, thanks to Chandimal’s unbeaten 65, but the bowlers failed to outwit Hafeez and company. The recent victory has definitely given them a morale boost and they will try to repeat the winning performance yet again.
Azhar Ali looked confident as he opened the innings with Ahmed Shehzad to post a 59-run stand; his well-made 79 off 104 kept the scoreboard ticking but Mohammad Hafeez couldn’t hold the fort this time around, falling cheaply for just 9 runs. Malik played a useful knock of a run-a-ball 51 while Rizwan and Anwar Ali tried to revive the innings with their 56-run partnership for the 7th wicket to take the total to 287.
It was a tough ask from the bowlers but they did take wickets consistently; Rahat Ali and Hafeez took 5 wickets between them while Irfan and Ali took a wicket each but it was hardly enough to make a dent on the Lankans.
The batsmen have been performing well and they must put this defeat behind them to go back to posting big totals; the bowlers on the other hand need to focus on the job at hand to give the team the vantage position in the upcoming contest.
Although Sri Lanka has done well to level the series, they still need to tighten some of the gaps in their batting line-up; Pakistan on the other hand, are determined to bounce back with a better performance here. While both sides have good talent and experience to give a tough challenge, we feel that Pakistan will come back stronger and win the next match on Sunday