SHARJAH – Medium-pacer Hasan Ali grabbed three wickets to celebrate his rise to the top of the one-day rankings as Pakistan downed Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the fourth day-night international in Sharjah on Friday.
Hasan took 3/37, while spinners Shadab Khan (2/29) and Imad Wasim (2/13) also chipped in with useful wickets as Sri Lanka were skittled out for 173 in 43.4 overs.
Only Lahiru Thirimanne resisted with a 94-ball 62 on a flat pitch at Sharjah stadium on which Babar Azam scored a stroke-filled 69 not out and Shoaib Malik matched him, also with an unbeaten 69, to help Pakistan overhaul the low target in 39 overs.
Despite Pakistan losing three early wickets, the target was never out of reach as Azam and Malik shared an unbroken 119-run fourth-wicket stand.
Malik smashed Milinda Siriwardana for a boundary and a six to seal the victory.
He hit three sixes in all and two boundaries in his 81-ball knock, while Azam, who had scored successive hundreds in the first two matches, had five boundaries off 101 balls.
Pakistan lost Imam-ul-Haq for two after his debut hundred in the last match, while Fakhar Zaman fell for 17 and Mohammad Hafeez made nine.
This was Pakistan’s eighth consecutive win, which also included their Champions Trophy triumph in England in June, while Sri Lanka succumbed to their 11th consecutive ODI defeat.
The fifth and final match is also in Sharjah on Monday.
“It was my childhood dream to be world number one, and it was my goal when I started cricket, so I am very happy that this has come true,” said Hasan.
“It’s always my aim to take wickets and anchor the team’s win, so I am again happy to be the main bowler,” added Hasan, who now has 12 wickets in the series.