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After beating Pakistan 2-0 in the Test Series during their UAE visit, today it was Sri Lanka’s best chance to salvage the tough ODI series and make a comeback. It was a ‘Must Win’ game for them, especially after having lost the last game; in which, they could have easily beaten Pakistan but they failed to do so. The Lankans had a flying start to their innings after they won the toss and elected to bat first, with both the openers looking in a ‘dangerous’ mood, ensuring a Big Total.
However, that’s cricket and this how things change so rapidly and at the close of their innings, Sri Lanka ended up with 208/10; though at one stage, they were only 2 down for 102 (in 25 overs). Once the Lankan’s innings was dented, Pakistani bowlers never looked back and kept on increasing the pressure instead and as a result; the entire Lankan team got out with 10 balls (1.4 overs) still remaining.
Chasing the modest total, Pakistani openers provided a wonderful start of 78 runs when Fakhar Zaman fell to Lankan spinner J. Vandersay after scoring 29 runs of 40 balls. However, after that Pakistan managed to achieve the target of 209 loosing only three wickets while in 43rd over.
It doesn’t seem far long ago when the stronger teams considered Pakistan one of the modest ODI opponents, playing old-fashioned slow rather sluggish cricket. With majority of batsmen in the playing-XI being on the slower side (in terms of strike rate) and the bowlers being less penetrative enough, the Green Shirts’ moral faced great decline with every defeat they faced.
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But over the past few months, Pakistan has played tremendous cricket and shown great spirit; with their recent series win against the World-XI being the latest example. Congratulations Team Green, Very Well Played!!!
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Highlights of today’s match:
- Imam-ul-Haq, the 21-year-old son of Great Inzamam-ul-Haq, became the 2nd Pakistani to score a maiden hundred on his International Debut; he got out on exactly 100
- Muhammad Hafeez scored unbeaten on 34
- Babar Azam again showed class and scored well-made 30 runs
- Young fast bowler Hasan Ali proved the ‘main destroyer’ in today’s game by claiming 5 wickets for 34 runs and achieved two milestones too; 5/34 are his best bowling figures while he also got his 50th wicket today, playing his 24th ODI.
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