Pakistan defeat Sri Lanka in the final ODI by 3 wickets
Zeenews Sports Bureau
Abu Dhabi: Umar Akmal made an unbeaten fifty to guide Pakistan to their fourth win in the five match ODI series against Sri Lanka on Wednesday.
Pakistan were set a target of 219 runs by Sri Lanka which they achieved with 16 balls remaining.
On a slow track, the 200 plus score was always going to be a competitive one and the Pakistani batsmen rightly began on a cautious note as their experienced batsmen-Younis and Misbah provided them control in the middle stages.
Earlier, Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews hit fighting half-centuries as Sri Lanka reached 218-9 off their allotted 50 overs in the fifth and final day-night international against Pakistan at Abu Dhabi stadium on Wednesday.
Sangakkara scored 78 and Mathews made 61 during their innings-repairing fifth wicket stand of 118 before Sri Lanka lost track, with only a late order batting fightback helping them to a fighting total.
Sri Lanka, who trailed 3-1 in the five-match series, were reduced to 46-4 after they decided to bat under overcast conditions which the Pakistani seam attack took full advantage of, grabbing four early wickets by 11th over.
Paceman Sohail Tanvir, who took 4-34, had opener Upul Tharanga (three) and Dinesh Chandimal (seven) in his first spell while Umar Gul accounted for Sri Lankan skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan (12) -- all three caught behind the wicket.
First change Junaid Khan dismissed Chamara Silva (one) to leave the fight to Sangakkara and Mathews who slowly built the innings against some quality pace and spin bowling. Sangakkara hit eight boundaries during his 99-ball knock-- his 67th one-day half-century -- before he miscued a drive off spinner Mohammad Hafeez and was caught at extra cover by Misbah-ul Haq.
Mathews, who hit two boundaries and two sixes off 101 balls, was bowled round his legs by off-spinner Saeed Ajmal.
Thisara Perera (25) added 34 runs for the eighth wicket with Seekkuge Prasanna who made eight not out.
Pakistan, who won the first, third and fourth matches in the series, rested opener Imran Farhat, Aizaz Cheema and Sarfraz Ahmed to bring in Tanvir, Khan and Asad Shafiq. Sri Lanka were forced to bring in Silva for Mahela Jayawardene who returned home due to knee injury.
Pakistan pocketed the 5 match ODI series 4-1.
With inputs from PTI