Sri Lanka bounce back in style to level series
Steered by Tillakaratne Dilshan’s century and Thisara Perera’s 6-wicket haul, Sri Lanka waloped Pakistan by 76 runs in the second ODI to level the 5-match series 1-1.
After winning the toss, the hosts put on 280/4 thanks to a stellar knock by Tillakaratne Dilshan(119*) who notched up his 13th ODI hundred and handy contributions from Dinesh Chandimal(32), Mahela Jayawardena(53) and Thisara Perera(24*). Dilshan hit 11 fours and a six while Perera’s 14-ball cameo was studded with 2 fours and 2 sixes.
In reply, Pakistan started steadily but never quite got the momentum going in the middle overs. Mohammad Hafeez(14), Younus Khan(4), Mishah-ul-Haq(27) and Umar Akmal(3) were all dismissed by Perera with just 139 on the board. Azhar Ali(96) was the only bright spot for the visitors but when he was dismissed 4 runs short of a well-deserving hundred by Nuwan Kulasekara, the chase looked tough.
Lasith Malinga chipped in with the wickets of Shahid Afridi(17) and Saeed Ajmal(4) while Perera turned in another brilliant spell getting rid of Sohail Tanvir(3) and Umar Gul(14). He finished with career best figures of 6/44 and also became the first bowler to take 6 wickets against Pakistan in ODIs. Kulasekara trapped Sarfraz Ahmed(20) LBW and that spelled the end of the innings for the men in green.
Thisara Perera was awarded the Man of the Match. The action now shifts to Colombo for the remaining three one-dayers, starting with the 3rd ODI on 13th June 2012.