Babar Azam on Monday scored a second successive hundred while Shadab Khan gave his career-best bowling and batting to help Pakistan thump Sri Lanka by 32 runs in the second day-night international in Abu Dhabi.
One-drop batsman Babar knocked a fighting 133-ball 103, while Shadab scored a career-best 52 not out to lift Pakistan from a struggling 79-5.
That was before Shadab the bowler returned with his best figures of 3-47 to dismiss Sri Lanka for 187 all out in 48 overs.
Babar, 23, and Shadab, who turned 19 earlier this month, were engaged in a match-turning 109-run seventh wicket stand that helped Pakistan reach 291-9 on a sluggish Zayed Sports City Stadium pitch.
The victory gave Pakistan a 2-0 lead in the five-match series, while it was Sri Lanka’s ninth defeat in a row.
Skipper Upul Tharanga became the first Sri Lankan and 11th batsman in one-day history to carry his bat through a complete innings with a fighting 144-ball 112 not out with 14 boundaries — his 15th one-day international (ODI) century.
It was the bowlers who helped Pakistan defend a low total, despite Tharanga and Jeffrey Vandarsay (22) putting up a fighting 76-run eighth-wicket stand, but it was not enough.
Dropped twice on 13 and then on 20, Tharana stood alone as Sri Lanka needed 51 off the final five overs, but the last two batsmen were run out and he was left stranded.
Once paceman Junaid Khan removed Niroshan Dickwella for three in the third over, spinners Shadab, Shoaib Malik (1-17) and Mohammad Hafeez (1-24) rocked the Sri Lanka batting with regular wickets.
Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed praised his bowlers.
“I can’t praise the bowlers enough for defending this 220,” Ahmed said. “Babar and Shadab are very young and it was nice to see them bat so well.”
Tharanga admitted that his batting let the team down.
“It’s disappointing to lose,” Tharanga said. “When you’re 90-7, it’s a tough task. It was good to carry the bat, but I’m disappointed with the result.”
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