A low scoring but interesting match

Today’s Match played between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was totally opposite to that played last Sunday in which South Africa chased a massive total of 434 set by Australia. Though today’s match was not that much entertaining but it was a true nail biter. Pakistan succeeded to have 4 wicket win over Sri Lanka after a real fight. Sri lankan Bowlers and fielders played very well to defend a low total but Abdul Razaq took the game away from them.

Pakistan had to chase 130 runs when they came to bat before lunch. Afridi was sent to open with Salman Butt and both the openers lost their wickets before lunch break in a pathetic manner. Shoaib Malik and Younis Khan came back after lunch time to continue the game. Sri Lankan bowlers were very impressive today. They bowled stump to stump and with very good line and length. Only Malinga went for some extras on some occasions. The fielding was superb inside the circle. Fielders didn’t allow the ball to travel to out of the circle and also restricted Pakistanis to rotate the strike. Younis Khan was run out while taking a non-existing run.

When Pakistan lost Inzamam at the total of 47-5, they were in a real trouble. Razaq came to company Muhammad Yousaf at that stage. He had a game plan set in his mind and played accordingly. Yousaf and Razaq played very consciously. They defended solidly and took a single or played in deep for two on some loose ball. There ware only 3 boundaries hit before Kamran Akmal came to ground after dismissal of Muhammad Yousaf.

Kamran Akmal started his innings confidently and reminded the people with his innings played at Mohali and then at Karachi against India on both occasions. Kamran and Razaq have played very well on all these occasions from Mohali to Karachi and now at Colombo today.

Abdul Razaq has depicted his two behaviours in international cricket as a batsman. He is well know as a pinch hitter and punishes bowlers mercilessly. He has scored 50 within 25 balls on two occasions. His 70 runs off 52 balls against Aussies can never be forgotten where he hit 5 fours to McGrath. He has played many innings to get victory for Pakistan like the one he played at Gaddafi Stadium against New Zealand chasing a target of 290+. He is also a very good and handy bowler as well. He has a habit of breaking partnerships and having wicket of class batsman. He can reverse swing ball as well. He has also shown his solid defence on many occasions as well like he has played today.

Sri Lankan team could only make 130 runs after losing the toss and sent to bat first by Inzamam. They were 56 for the loss of 7 wickets at one stage. Probably it was Inzamam’s loose captaincy that allowed Sri Lanka to avoid a humiliating total. Inzamam deployed his part time bowlers Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik which made it easy for Sri Lankans to get some singles and make reasonable score.

Now Pakistan has lead of 1-0 over Sri Lanka and at least they can’t loose the series. Next Match is going to be played on 22nd of this month.

Fall of Wickets

Sri Lanka

  1. Chamara Kapugedera c Yousuf b Naved 1 (3 for 1)
  2. Kumar Sangakkara lbw b Asif 1 (7 for 2)
  3. Mahela Jayawardene c Akmal b Naved 0 (16 for 3)
  4. Upul Tharanga lbw b Razzaq 19 (39 for 4)
  5. Russel Arnold b Rao 16 (43 for 5)
  6. Farveez Maharoof c Afridi b Rao 2 (51 for 6)
  7. Kaushal Lokuarachchi c Akmal b Razzaq 1 (56 for 7)
  8. Nuwan Kulasekara lbw b Afridi 11 (98 for 8 )
  9. Lasith Malinga lbw b Afridi 15 (123 for 9)
  10. Muttiah Muralitharan b Naved 2 (130 all out)

Pakistan:

  1. Shahid Afridi c Sangakkara b Malinga 2 (12 for 1)
  2. Salman Butt c Sangakkara b Maharoof 4 (15 for 2)
  3. Younis Khan run out (Arnold) 4 (34 for 3)
  4. Inzamam-ul-Haq lbw b Malinga 1 (39 for 4)
  5. Shoaib Malik c Jayawardene b Kulasekara 17 (47 for 5)
  6. Mohammad Yousuf lbw b Lokuarachchi 26 (82 for 6)

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