Sri Lanka: 208/10 (48.2 overs) (Tharanga 61, Perera 38; Hasan 5/34, Shadab 2/37)
Pakistan: 209/3 (42.2 overs) (Imam 100, Hafeez 34*; Gamage 1/35, Perera 1/22)
Result: Pakistan won by 7 wickets & seal the series 3-0
Man of the match: Imam-Ul-Haq
After a fabulous win last Monday, Pakistan has sealed the 5-match ODI series by winning the first three matches. It was the debutant Imam-Ul-Haq, nephew of the legendary Inzamam Ul Haq, who scored a brilliant century to guide his side home. Imam was very lucky when he was given out on 89. As the Lefty was leaving the field, not hiding his disappointment, the umpires sent the decision upstairs where it was seen keeper Niroshan Dickwella grassed the catch. Imam came back and completed his century, becoming only the second Pakistani to score a ton on his ODI debut beside Saleem Elahi. With Imam’s century & Hafeez, Babar’s decenr knocks, Pakistan easily achieved the target of 209 set by the Lankans.
Despite a relatively lower total, Sri Lanka started off well with Dickwella & Tharanga sharing a 50-run stand. Even after Dickwella & Chadimal’s departure, Sri Lanka.looked comfortable. But Tharanga’s dismissal brought about the downfall. Sri Lanka lost the last 8 wickets for just 94. Credit should go to pacer Hasan Ali who took a fifer and young spinner Shadab Khan chipped in with three. Hasan Ali became the fastest Pakistani bowler to take 50 ODI series in history, taking just 24 games whereas Legends like Waqar Younis & Saqlain Mushtaq took 27 and 28 matches respectively.
In reply, Pakistan never really looked in trouble with Imam spearheading the chase. He got ample support from Hafeez & Babar. He got his century off a delivery from Perera. Imam becomes the 3rd youngest player to score an ODI century on debut in history. As Hafeez took the final single off Vandersay’s bowling, Pakistan ensured their 7th consecutive ODI win whereas Sri Lanka suffered their 10th consecutive loss in the same format. The last two ODIs will take place on 20th & 23rd October before the 3-match T-20 series starts from 26th October.