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PAKISTAN V SRI LANKA ODIS

Babar, Shadab put Pakistan 2-0 up

17 October 2017
MATCH REPORT

Sri Lanka slip to ninth consecutive ODI defeat despite desperate hundred from Tharanga

Pakistan v Sri Lanka ODIs, Second ODI

PAK
SL

Babar Azam scored a second succesive hundred while Shadab Khan gave career-best performances with bat and ball to help Pakistan defeat Sri Lanka by 32 runs in the second day-night international in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

No.3 batsman Babar knocked a fighting 133-ball 103 while Shadab scored a career best 52 not out to lift Pakistan from a struggling 5-79.

That was before Shadab the bowler returned with his best figures of 3-47 to dismiss Sri Lanka for 187 all out in 48 overs.

The 23-year-old Babar and Shadab, who turned 19 earlier this month, were engaged in a match-turning 109-run seventh-wicket stand which helped Pakistan reach 9-219 on a sluggish Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

The victory gives Pakistan a 2-0 lead in the five-match series while this becomes Sri Lanka's ninth defeat in a row.

Skipper Upul Tharanga became the first Sri Lankan and 11th batsman in one-day history to carry his bat through a complete innings with a fighting 144-ball 112 not out with 14 boundaries – his 15th ODI century.

It was the bowlers who helped Pakistan defend a low total despite Tharanga and Jeffrey Vandersay (22) put up a fighting 76-run eighth-wicket stand, which ultimately wasn't enough.

Dropped twice on 13 and then on 20, Tharanga stood alone as Sri Lanka needed 51 off the last five overs but the last two batsmen were run out and he was left stranded.

Once paceman Junaid Khan removed Niroshan Dickwella for three in the third over, spinners Shadab, Shoaib Malik (1-17) and Mohammad Hafeez (1-24) rocked the Sri Lankan batting with regular wickets.

"I can't praise the bowlers enough for defending this 220," Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed said. "Babar and Shadab are very young and it was nice to see them bat so well."

Tharanga admitted it was the side's batting that let them down.

"It's disappointing to lose," he said. "When you're 90 for seven, it's a tough task. It was good to carry the bat, but I'm disappointed with the result."

Earlier, Babar followed up his 103 which anchored Pakistan's 83-run win in the first game in Dubai on Friday, once again providing the platform for the innings.

Pakistan, who won the toss and batted, found the going tough as they lost half the side at the end of 20 overs for just 79, but Azam and Shadab led the fightback.

Azam brought up his hundred off 130 balls – his fourth this year – in the 49th over, making it seven ODI hundreds in just 33 innings; the previous quickest to the mark was Hashim Amla, who did it in 41.  

Shadab, who scored 14 not out in his only previous innings, played a support role during which he hit just one boundary off 68 balls.

Sri Lankan new-ball bowlers Lahiru Gamage (4-57) and Suranga Lakmal (1-42) made early inroads with three wickets inside first power-play of 10 overs.

Gamage had Fakhar Zaman dismissed for 11 and Mohammad Hafeez for eight while Lakmal dismissed out-of-form Ahmed Shehzad for eight.

Medium pacer Thisara Perera (2-34) then struck twice, removing Shoaib Malik (11) and Sarfraz (five) to leave Pakistan in a spot of bother.

Babar added 22 for the sixth wicket with Imad Wasim (10) before his stand with Shadab gave Pakistan something to defend.

The remaining matches will be played in Abu Dhabi (October 18) and Sharjah (October 20 and 23). The two teams will also play three Twenty20 internationals, the first two in Abu Dhabi (October 26 and 27) and the last in Lahore (October 29), as international cricket continues to take steps towards returning to regular action in Pakistan. 

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