Skipper Younus Khan led the way as Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka by 132 runs in the fifth and final one-day international on Sunday.
Younus top-scored with 76 and Misbah-ul Haq hit an unbeaten 73 to steer Pakistan to 279-8 after they won the toss and elected to bat in the day-night match at the R. Premadasa Stadium.
Teenage pace man Mohammad Aamer grabbed four for 28 and Rana Naved took four for 44 as Pakistan bowled out Sri Lanka for 147 in the 35th over to record their second successive win after Friday’s 146-run success.
Sri Lanka, however, clinched the one-day series 3-2, after winning the Test series 2-0.
“We won the two day-night games, but lost the first three day matches. Maybe we do not like to wake up early,” Younus said. “I think we lost the Tests and the one-dayers because we could not take the pressure, but I am glad we made amends toward the end and showed what we are really capable of. There are some very good youngsters in the side with a lot of promise and I am sure they will take Pakistan cricket forward.”
Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara said he was confident the hosts would recover from the two successive defeats.
“We should have batted better after the bowlers did well to keep Pakistan down to 279,” Sangakkara said. “It was a chaseable total, but we did not have partnerships going at the top. It is special to win the series and if we keep working as a team, there is no reason why we can’t win more often.”
The rivals, who contested the World Twenty20 final in England in June when Pakistan won the title, will play a Twenty20 international tomorrow, the last match of the tour.
The half-centuries from Younus and Misbah helped Pakistan recover from the first-ball dismissal of Kamran Akmal, who was given out leg before wicket off Nuwan Kulasekara, despite getting an edge.
Younus put on 69 for the third wicket with veteran Mohammad Yousuf (43) and 83 for the fourth wicket with Misbah, before being bowled by seamer Dammika Prasad in the 37th over.
Misbah stepped in to keep the scoreboard moving after the captain’s dismissal, adding 60 for the seventh wicket with Naved, to carry Pakistan past the 250-run mark.
Kulasekara was the most impressive bowler, with three for 46 from his 10 overs.
Sri Lanka’s reply began on the wrong foot when Upul Tharanga edged the third ball of the innings to Umar Akmal at second slip before a run had been scored.
Wickets tumbled regularly after that to reduce the hosts to 74-8, the only notable contribution in the top order coming from Mahela Jayawardene, who made 31 before being caught behind off Aamer.
Thilina Kandamby (42 not out) and Malinga Bandara (31) delayed the end by adding 71 for the eighth wicket, before Shahid Afridi claimed the last two wickets.
Naved was named man of the match for his 33 with the bat and four wickets, while Sri Lanka’s Thilan Thushara was adjudged man of the series for his haul of nine wickets.
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