Mathews seals win for Sri Lanka

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iol spt june18 Mathews-SL REUTERS Angelo Mathews kept a cool head to guide Sri Lanka to a nerve-jangling two-wicket win over Pakistan in the fifth and final ODI.

Colombo - Angelo Mathews kept a cool head to guide Sri Lanka to a nerve-jangling two-wicket win over Pakistan in the fifth and final one-day international on Monday.

Chasing 248 for victory, Sri Lanka reached their target with two balls to spare to take the five-match series 3-1. One game was ruined by bad weather.

Mathews, who arrived at the crease with the total 97 for four in the 25th over, hammered an unbeaten 80 off 76 balls with two sixes and four fours and claimed the man of the match award.

Nuwan Kulasekara offered good support, making 10 not out in an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 36 in 20 deliveries.

Sri Lanka began the final over needing 15 runs for victory and paceman Mohammad Sami started it with a wide.

Mathews scored 10 off the next three balls and punched the fourth over point for four to settle the issue.

Sami, back after missing the previous two games due to a sore thumb, was the most expensive bowler as he conceded 75 runs in 9.4 overs without taking a wicket.

Leg-spinner Shahid Afridi seemed to put Pakistan in charge when he removed Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene off successive balls in the 25th over.

Sangakkara was stumped by wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed for 40 and Jayawardene fell first ball when he offered a tame return catch.

Earlier, Pakistan opening batsman Imran Farhat marked his first match of the series by hitting 56 before Azhar Ali (30), Asad Shafiq (38) and Misbah-ul-Haq (32) kept the momentum going.

They all batted around Umar Akmal who top-scored with an unbeaten 55 off 61 balls containing two sixes and five fours.

The two teams next play a series of three tests beginning on Friday in Galle. – Reuters

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