Despite a brilliant century by opening batsman Danushka Gunathilaka who reeled off a run a ball 133, Sri Lanka lost to Pakistan the third and final ODI by five wickets in Karachi on Wednesday who took the 3-match series 2-0. Gunathilaka struck 16 boundaries and a six in helping Sri Lanka to a formidable 297 for 9 wickets in their 50 overs, but Pakistan replied with 299 for 5 in 48.2 overs in what was their first series win in 15 months. Sri Lanka’s innings was given a sound foundation by an 88-run second wicket alliance between the belligerent Gunathilaka and skipper Lahiru Thirimanne who made 36 despite losing Avishka Fernando cheaply with the total on 13. From that point the Lankan total was boosted by knocks of 43 by Dasun Shanaka and 36 by debutant Minod Bhanuka. Mohamed Amir claimed 3 for 50 for Pakistan.
Pakistan’s run chase was sustained by Fakhar Zaman who made 76 and Abid Ali 74 who figured in a 123-run opening partnership in 20 overs followed by contributions from Haris Sohail who made 56 and Iftikhar Ahmed a breezy unbeaten 28. Nuwan Pradeep took 2 for 53 for Sri Lanka.
Abid Ali was the Player of the Match and Babar Azam Player of the Series.
Sri Lanka 297/9 (50 Overs)
(D. Gunathilaka 133, D. Shanaka 43, L. Thirimanne 36, M. Bhanuka 33, Amir 3/50)
Pakistan 299/5 (48.2 Overs)
(F. Zaman 76, Abid Ali 74, Haris Sohail 56, Babar Azam 31, I. Ahmed n.o. 28, N. Pradeep 2/53)
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-