Two middle order collapses and two late order fruitful partnerships highlighted the second ODI match as Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka by 32 runs in Abu Dhabi on Monday to take the 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
Babar Azam slammed his second consecutive ton, his 7th individual century to add 109 runs for the 7th wicket with Shadab Khan to rescue to the hosts from 101 for 6 to 219 for 9 from their 50 overs while Sri Lanka skipper Upul Tharanga struck his 15th ODI ton which went in vain as Pakistani bowlers dismantled the visitors to 187.
Earlier after electing to bat first, Pakistan lost their opening batsman Fakhar Zaman in the 4th over when seamer Gamage induced an edge where Kusal Mendis grabbed a good catch at wide second slip.
Ahmed Shehzad failed yet again when he guided a harmless Suranga Lakmal delivery straight to backward point. Mohammed Hafeez came down the track and smashed Gamage over the top for a six but the bowler took his revenge edging out the Pakistani number 4 batsman in the very next ball
Thisara Perera who had not performed with the ball in recent times chipped in by dismissing both Shoaib Malik and Sarfraz Ahmed in successive overs. Malik tried to run down to third man but managed only a nick to the wicket-keeper while skipper Ahmed chopped one onto the stumps as they lost half of their side for just 79 runs in 20 overs.
Niroshan Dickwella played across the line early in the chase as Junaid Khan trapped the Lankan opening batsman plumb in front. Hassan Ali cleverly set up Kusal Mendis with the shorter one as the young no.3 went for a risky pull shot but only found deep square leg.
Tharanga was given three lifelines by the Pakistani fielders on 13 (twice) and 20 as he struggled to find his timing initially. He held his end perfectly but soon fell short of partners who failed to farm the strike thus succumbing to the Pakistan pressure.
Sri Lanka’s run-rate and scoring areas were blocked heavily as soon as the spinners came on from the 9th over. Thirimanne and Tharanga added 40 runs for the 3rd wicket before the former was given LBW off part-time spinner Shoaib Malik for 12.
Teenage leg-spinner Shadab Khan was introduced to the attack only in the 25th over and he struck imminently with a perfect googly which bamboozled Dinesh Chandimal as the ball sneaked through the wide gap between bat and pad.
Milinda Siriwardena and Akila Dananjaya was also undone by the spin of Shadab Khan who was excellent on a slow, turning surface while Thisara Perera edged to slip off Mohammed Hafeez who bowled his 10 overs for just 24 runs.
After being 93 for 7, skipper Tharanga found an able partner in Jeffrey Vandersay to give hope for the visitors. As the dew factor came into play, Tharanga and Vandersay found batting rather comfortable during their 76-run stand. With 51 more runs to get, Vandersay fell to the short-ball trap laid by Rumman Raees putting the final nail in the coffin.