SHARJAH:Pakistan ruled the roost in the fourth One-Day International as well as Sri Lanka folded for 173 in 43.4 overs after opting to bat in Sharjah on Friday (October 20). Only Lahiru Thirimanne (62) got going but with little support, as the visitors could only muster a paltry score.
After the third ODI, Nic Pothas, Sri Lanka coach, blasted his batsmen and urged them to show fight. The coach’s fury, however, had little impact with only Upul Tharanga getting dismissed on a deserving delivery. Usman Khan, who was handed an ODI debut, nipped out the Sri Lanka captain on the second delivery of his career, in the second over of the innings, with a one that came back in and took out the off stump.
Niroshan Dickwella, though, tried his best to turn things around. He counter-attacked after the early blow to race to 22 off 15. However, trying to put Junaid Khan under pressure, he perished after lobbing a simple catch to cover in the fifth over. Dinesh Chandimal and Thirimanne got together to stitch a brief recovery before things went pearshaped for the visitors.
Pakistan’s sloppiness early on meant Sri Lanka raced to 55 for 2 after the ninth over. Chandimal was run out after a horrible mix-up in the 11th over, Sadeera Samarawickrama bagged a second-ball duck on debut and was bowled by Imad Wasim while Milinda Siriwardana pulled Hasan Ali to fine leg after a 32-ball struggle.
There was more misery. The arsenal Sarfaraz Ahmed has at his disposal can make any captain jealous in world cricket at the moment. While Hasan Ali kept it tight, Shadab Khan picked up two wickets from his first two balls of the match to leave Sri Lanka struggling at 100 for 7. The legspinner accounted for Seekkuge Prasanna and Thisara Perera and forced Thirimanne to curb his game as well.
While wickets tumbled, only Thirimanne seemed keen to grind it out while the other batsmen either struggled or threw away their wickets. Keen on carrying on with a calculative approach, the left-hander registered his half-century in 78 deliveries. His defiance came to an end in the 41st over when he chipped one straight to cover to fall after a 94-ball fight. Things didn’t last too long as Pakistan managed to bowl out their opponents for the sixth time in last seven outings.
Sri Lanka have ten consecutive defeats so far. Pakistan have seven wins on the trot. The numbers look set to climb to 11 and 8 respectively unless the visitors can manage to pull a rabbit out of the hat.