SL vs PAK -1st ODI
Location: Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Hambantota
Toss: Pakistan (Elected to field)
Run Rate: 6.22
Run Rate: 6.11
Result: Pak won by 4 wkts (D/L method)
Last 5 Ovs: 46/1
RR: 9.2 4s: 7 6s: 0
Man of the Match:
Pakistan 277/6 (44.5 ov)
A cracking finale to an absorbing contest. Pakistan now have a chance to seal the series when the two teams meet each other on the 26th at the same venue for the 2nd match. That will be a D/N affair. Do join us for all the action. For now, cheers and bye..
Misbah: 'Much needed win, really happy to have chased down the total. One of the best partnerships I have ever seen, happy that two youngsters did well. Our confidence is up now, to be winning from this situation (from 106/5) is encouraging. Death bowling is a concern, but it is difficult to contain batsmen under the new rules. But this is how the game is, we are looking forward to improve further. Irfan is our wicket-taking option, that's why I bowled him out early. If we don't get wickets at front, it is impossible to stop batsmen towards the end overs.'
Maqsood: 'Coming back into the game after a few months, I was looking forward to it. The captain gave me a new job (batting at 7), but I am ready to play at any position. Fawad rotated the strike, and I played my shots. We just didn't want to lose wickets. We targeted their bowlers and it came off well. This is the best knock of my career so far, and I will look to do well in future as well.'
Mathews: 'The 6th wicket partnership won them the game, but I thought we didn't do too many mistakes. It was a good game. The wicket played pretty well. The bowlers usually win the game for us if the target is more than 250. The stumping was crucial, but it was a tough chance for Sangakkara. I am batting well, looking to do so in the future as well.'
This is also Pakistan's highest ever ODI chase against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka. Do hang around for quotes from both captains in a while..
The bowling was excellent to begin with but faded away as the partnership between Maqsood and Alam grew. Mathews ended with two wickets and so did Thisara Perera. But under pressure, things fell apart. They will now have to win the remaining two matches, else they will have to settle for another home series defeat, something that doesn't augur well with the 2015 World Cup coming up.