Sarfaraz Ahmed
Sarfaraz Ahmed

As many as three Pakistan fielders committed comical blunders to gift four runs to Sri Lankan opener Danushka Gunathilaka. In the 19th over, Gunathilaka flicked a ball down towards the square leg fielder who took the ball and returned a wayward throw. As much as it was difficult for the wicket-keeper Sarfaraz Ahmed, it also took the point fielder by surprise. The ball went then went rolling towards deep point. Fast bowler Usman Shinwati, who was fielding at sweeper cover, came towards the ball, and let it slip below him to gift Gunathilaka and Sri Lanka four more runs.

Watch the whole sequence:

 


Gunathilaka then went on to score a century, taking Sri Lanka to a respectable total of 297 off the designated 50 overs. Captain Lahiru Thirimanne and Minod Bhanuka got a start and contributed a little, but it was Dasun Shanaka’s 24-ball 43 that enabled Sri Lanka to end their innings at 297 for 9. Mohammad Amir led the bowling for Pakistan with three wickets.

In reply, Pakistan were off to a brilliant start with an opening partnership of 123 between Fakhar Zaman and Abid Ali. Ali was trapped in front by Wanidu Hasaranga for a 67-ball 74. The foundation was laid, making the run chase easier. Babar Azam continued for a while with Zaman, before both the baatsmen were dismissed in quick succession.

Later, Sarfaz Ahmed and Haris Sohail steadied the ship with the latter going on to score a half century. Haris Sohail almost took Pakistan home, but he was dismissed with Pakistan 10 runs short of Sri Lanka’s score. Iftikhar Ahmed, along with Wahab Riaz completed the job for Pakistan as they eventually won by five wickets with ten balls to spare.

By virtue of the victory, Pakistan won the series 2-0. Abid Ali was named as the man of the match for the third ODI while Babar Azam was named as the man of the series.