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Shoaib, Babar, bowlers strikes down a frail Sri Lanka (again)

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When will we ever learn? Sri Lanka had already lost the ODI series with 2 matches remaining. If you thought that maybe Sri Lanka would put up a fight for the rest of the ODIs, think again. Pakistan dominated the Lankan side once again as they move up with 4-0 in the series. This was largely thanks to Shoaib Malik and Babar Azam’s contribution from the bat as well as an exceptional bowling performance.

From 99/7 to 173 all out

Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat first. This however, didn’t make much of a difference for the visitors as they wrapped up their innings to a measly 173.

Shoaib Malik | Pakistan

Chandimal goes cheaply, again (Photo Courtesy: AP)

Upul Tharanga went for a duck in the 2nd over, falling victim to debutant Usman Khan in just his second delivery. Dickwella on the other hand looked comfortable against the likes of Junaid Khan, scoring 19 runs off 2 of his overs which included 2 fours and a six. But Junaid however, did get his man. Dickwella had to walk for 22 runs off 16 balls.

With Chandimal and Thirimanne at the crease, things started to slow down for Sri Lanka. The pair only managed to put 29 runs for the 3rd wicket before a mix up cost Chandimal his wicket. Then came the debutant for Sri Lanka, Sadeera Samarawickrama. Sadly, he lasted only 2 balls for no runs.

Things never really clicked for the Lankans through out their innings. During the 25th over, Shadab Khan bagged the wickets of Seekkuge Prasanna and Thisara Perera off consecutive balls. Sri Lanka were 7 down before even making triple figures. Thirimanne was the only remaining recognised batsman and was the only Lankan who managed to score 30+ runs in the innings. He scored 62 runs before falling victim to Imad Wasim.Hasan Ali | Shoaib | Pakistan

Like dominoes, each one fell after the other in quick succession. Eventually, the visitors were done for 173 runs by the 44th over.

Pakistan batting: Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik shines

With a target set to 174, the hosts had a relatively easy chase. But it wasn’t without a few hiccups though. Gamage managed to get the better of last match’s centurion, Imam-Ul-Haq during the 2nd over itself. Fakhar Zaman didn’t last too long at the crease either. Swinging wildly to a legspinner, Zaman walked out while the score still read 37.

Even as Pakistan’s scoreboard read 58/3, the chase seemed all too comfortable for Sarfraz’s men. But things did get a bit exciting for a brief moment when Shoaib Malik was dropped early on. But that was pretty much it. An unbroken partnership of 119 with Babar Azam ensured there were no further hiccups for the hosts. Pakistan’s 177 came off in 39 overs, with Shoaib hitting the winning runs with a six.Shoaib | Babar | Pakistan

A white wash on the cards?

To say that Sri Lanka have under-performed during this series is an understatement. Then again, they have been for quite some time. Yes, Sri Lanka did win the test series. But their ODI performance of late have been anything but satisfactory. 11 consecutive ODI defeats is no joke. Hope is that there won’t be a 12th, at least for Sri Lanka’s sake. 

The fifth and final ODI match will take place Monday, 23rd of October at 2.00 PM onwards (local time). If anything, Sri Lanka will be fighting to avoid a white wash.

 

Feature Image Courtesy: sportskeeda

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