Babar, Shinwari propel Pakistan to victory against Sri Lanka

Chasing a target of 306, the islanders were dismissed for 238

Babar, Shinwari propel Pakistan to victory against Sri Lanka PHOTO: PCB

Top-order batsman Babar Azam and fast-bowler Usman Shinwari starred as Pakistan defeated a luckless Sri Lanka side by 67 runs in the second One-day International (ODI) between the two sides at the National Stadium in Karachi on Monday. The first ODI was abandoned due to persistent rain.

Chasing a target of 306, Sri Lanka lost half their side in the first ten overs and were left reeling at 28 for 5.

Fast-bowlers Usman Shinwari and Mohammad Amir delivered blazing spells to rock Sri Lanka's top-order.

Opener Sadeera Samarawickrama had his stumps removed early by Shinwari for 6 runs off 14 deliveries. Absolute carnage followed as Amir and Shinwari ran rampant against the Islanders.

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Danushka Gunathilaka miscued a straight delivery off the bowling of Amir and was caught by all-rounder Imad Wasim. Shinwari then picked up two more wickets in quick succession to leave the Sri Lanka side four down.

Imad, in his first over, picked up the wicket of batsman Avishka Fernando as Sri Lanka slumped further.

Batsmen Dasun Shanaka and Shehan Jayasuriya then arrived at the crease and built the biggest partnership of the match to raise the hopes of the visiting side. They made a partnership of 177 runs which was ultimately broken by Shinwari when he removed Jayasuriya at 96 off 109 balls.

Leg-spinner Shadab Khan then became part of the action by picking up the wicket of Shanaka, who scored 68 runs off 80 balls.

The fightback quickly ended as Pakistan took the remaining wickets with ease. Shinwari delivered an inspired spell and finished with five wickets for 51 runs. Shadab was expensive but managed to bag two wickets for 76 runs. Imad, Amir and fast-bowler Wahab Riaz grabbed one wicket apiece.

Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first on a flat track. Openers Fakhar Zaman and Imamul Haq provided a stable start with a first wicket partnership of 73 runs.

Imam was the first to depart after leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga received considerable bounce and turn to trap the opener leg before wicket (LBW). The umpire originally gave it not-out but a review showed that the ball, having missed the bat, would have cannoned into the stumps.

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Fakhar scored 54 runs of 65 balls before falling prey to Hasaranga. Batsmen Babar Azam and Haris Sohail then stitched together a partnership of 111 runs to provide Pakistan with a solid foundation.

A run-out brought an end to Haris’ innings after making 40 off 48 balls. However, Babar continued his excellent form blazed his way to 115 off 105 balls.

Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed came out during the death overs but could not make an impact and was finally run-out for 8 off 12 balls.

Babar fell soon after, as he tried to up the tempo but miscued a delivery off fast-bowler Lahiru Kumara.

Imad and all-rounder Iftikhar Ahmed tried to provide impetus to the innings before Imad fell caught at 12 off 8 balls.

Iftikhar hammered the last over for 20 runs to propel Pakistan to a total of 305 for 7. He remained unbeaten scoring 32 off 20 balls. The target set by Pakistan proved more than enough for the second string Sri Lanka side.

For his scintillating spell of fast-bowling, Shinwari bagged the award for the player of the match.