A hundred from Tillakaratne Dilshan followed by devastating spells from Sri Lanka’s bowlers handed Pakistan their heaviest one-day defeat in the third and final clash yesterday.
Dilshan’s career-best 137 anchored his team’s impressive 309-5 in their 50 overs before Nuwan Kulasekara (3-17) and Thilan Thushara (3-33) bundled Pakistan out for just 75 in 22.5 overs, giving the tourists a massive 234-run win.
The total is Pakistan’s lowest in a one-day match at home and is their heaviest one-day defeat in terms of runs.
The victory means Sri Lanka win the three-match series 2-1. Off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan took 2-2 to pass 500 one-day wickets. Pakistan’s Wasim Akram (502 wickets) is the only other bowler to reach the mark.
In an untidy fielding display, the home team dropped three catches and spurned a stumping chance.
When it was their turn to bat, captain Shoaib Malik surprisingly promoted out-of-form Younus Khan to open the innings.
Pakistan were never in hunt as Thushara trapped Younus (four) off the last ball of the second over.
Butt was the next to go for nought, caught by Thilina Kandamby off Kulasekara before Thushara trapped Kamran Akmal in front and Kulasekara dismissed opener Khurram Manzoor (three), caught brilliantly by Farveez Maharoof at square-leg. Misbah-ul-Haq’s dismissal, caught behind without scoring off Thushara, left Pakistan in desperate trouble at 18 for five.
Four runs later Kulasekara bowled Shahid Afridi for nought.
Malik (19) and top-scorer Umar Gul (27) added 46 for the seventh wicket but it only delayed the inevitable.
Pakistan’s previous heaviest defeat in terms of runs was by 224 runs against Australia at Nairobi in 2002.
Earlier, 32-year-old Dilshan batted throughout the Sri Lankan innings after the visitors won the toss and batted on a docile Qaddafi Stadium pitch.
Dilshan hit 10 boundaries during his 139-ball knock and set the tempo with a 76-run first-wicket stand with Sanath Jayasuriya (45).
Jayasuriya was caught off a miscued pull off Gul, who finished with 3 wickets for 45 runs.
Dilshan consolidated the innings in a second-wicket stand of 104 with Kumar Sangakkara (50) and put on 57 for the third wicket with Kandamby (32) as Pakistan toiled for wickets.
Pakistan won the first match by eight wickets, while Sri Lanka clinched the second by 129 runs — both played in Karachi.