|1st ODI: Sri Lanka Gul-dozed|
08 June 2012
A superb bowling performance followed by a disciplined run-chase helped Pakistan register a rain-affected six-wicket win over Sri Lanka and draw first blood in the five-match One-Day International (ODI) series.
Umar Gul reminded followers of his prowess with the ball after a disappointing Twenty20 match, wrecking the Sri Lanka top-order to finish with three for 24, while Mohammad Sami also grabbed three wickets as the hosts were restricted to 135 for eight in 42 overs. Mohammad Hafeez chipped in with two for 20.
In reply, Pakistan lost makeshift opener Azhar Ali early before Younus Khan also departed.
But Hafeez and captain Misbahul Haq added a crucial 51 for the third wicket as Pakistan got back on track. Hafeez was stumped but Misbah and Umar Akmal ensured that Pakistan went close to the finish line.
The pair added 55 and though Misbah was run-out, Pakistan recorded their 14th win in 29 ODIs played in Sri Lanka.
The win was setup by Gul who took the opening three wickets to peg back Sri Lanka.
“I’m pleased with my performance,” said Gul after he was named man of the match.
“I’m coming back to bowl after a long time and my body needs to go through it as much as possible. But we need to cut down on the extras and dropped catches that happened today.”
While his counterpart Mahela Jayawardene rued a poor batting display that was also marred by rain interruptions, Misbah was pleased with the effort on a difficult pitch for batting but eyed improvement in the upcoming matches.
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