It was the first match of the 3-match ODI series between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Sri Lanka hoped to carry on with their good run in the series while Pakistan was desperate for a comeback. Also, both teams wanted to seal a victory as it is always advantageous to start of things with a victory in a 3-match ODI series. In the end, it was Pakistan who held the final smile. Pakistan won the toss and sent Sri Lanka to bat first. Due to rain early on, the match was delayed and it was a 45-over a side game.

Upul Tharanga and Tilekaratne Dilshan opened the innings for Sri Lanka while Mohammad Irfan started things for Pakistan. It was a steady start by the Lankans till the 4th over of the innings when in the 5th over Dilshan misjudged a ball of Mohammad Irfan and was adjourned LBW. Sri Lanka thus lost their first wicket under the first 5 overs of the powerplay. Kumar Sangakkara came in next and started to pace up the innings quite steadily and even Tharanga, who ran through a lean patch in the test series was looking solid at the crease. But Tharanga’s misery continued soon after that. He was dismissed for 18runs. Then was the time for the golden pair of Sri Lanka, Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara. But to the misfortune of them, the partnership was broken without a single run being added. Sangakkara was dismissed. Then came in Chandimal but even he did not stay for long. Then there was the partnership between Mahela and the captain. Surely, Angelo Mathews looked sensible right from the start and played brilliant strokes. Also, both of them scored at a good rate and dispatched the ball out of the boundary in frequent intervals. The partnership worth 116 runs and then Jayawardena was unfortunately run out. Mathews carried on with the good work and started playing aggressively with the tailenders on the other side. But even he was dismissed in the 44th over of the innings by Wahab Riaz at a score of 89 runs off 85 balls with 9 fours and 2 sixes. Sri Lanka ultimately managed to score 275 runs on the board. As many as 105 runs were scored off the last 60 deliveries. Wahab Riaz was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 50 in his 9 overs.

To make up for the 50 overs, Pakistan had to score the same amount of runs in 50 overs according to the Duckworth Lewis method. This seemed a bit weird. But the overcast conditions added to the pressure for Pakistan. It was the youngster, Ahmed Shehzad who opened the innings along with Mohammad Hafeez. And the Sri Lankan speedster, Lasith Malinga started off proceedings for them. It was quite of a good start by the Pakistanis and they looked aggressive on the field. Angelo Mathews tried to amplify the pressure by making frequent bowling changes and brought himself early on in the innings. He gave his team the first breakthrough in the form of Mohammad Hafeez. Pakistan were 39 for 1 in the 9th over then when the most experienced batsman of the team, Younis Khan came out to bat. But he did not stay at the crease for much long and was dismissed soon. There was nothing going Pakistan’s way at the time and Shehzad was even dismissed at a score of 49 runs. Pakistan were in some sort of bother with 4 down for 94 in the 20th over. Even the greats of Misbah could not manage to deliver for the team today and the fifth wicket fell shortly after that. Then there was a good partnership between Fawad Alam and Sohaib Maqsood and that partnership turned things around for them. The partnership contributed 147 runs and Fawad Alam scored 62 runs off 61 deliveries with 7 fours. He was dismissed in the 42nd over. But Maqsood remained unbeaten and cruised Pakistan to victory in the 45th over with 31 balls to spare. Maqsood scored a valiant unbeaten knock of 89 runs off 73 deliveries.

Thus with this victory, Pakistan lead the ODI series by 1-0. The next match will be a day/night encounter to be held on Tuesday.