Dilshan lights up Karachi
Murali and Mendis share six wickets as Sri Lanka level series
By Joe Drabble. Last Updated: 21/01/09 3:15pm
Dilshan: Cultured 76
Second One Day International
Sri Lanka 290-8 Innings Complete (T M Dilshan 76, S H T Kandamby 59, Umar Gul 4-58) v Pakistan 161 (Salman Butt 62, Shoaib Malik 54)
Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 129 runs
A well-crafted 76 from Tillakaratne Dilshan and a disciplined bowling display inspired Sri Lanka to a 129-run win over Pakistan in Karachi.
Eager to bounce back after a convincing eight-wicket defeat in the series opener on Tuesday, Sri Lanka produced a stunning display with the ball after posting a daunting 290-8.
Dilshan was the cornerstone of the tourists' innings, amassing 76 off 88 balls and sharing a 99-run, fourth-wicket partnership with Thilina Kandamby, who made 59.
Defending their sizeable total under lights, spinners Muttiah Muralitharan (3-19) and Ajantha Mendis (3-29) capitalised on an early double strike by Nuwan Kulasekara as Pakistan slumped from 125-3 to 161 all out in 34.5 overs.
After Tuesday's loss, Sri Lanka returned to the National Stadium looking for revenge and, despite losing the toss, raced to 43-0 as Sanath Jayasuriya (19) and Dilshan cut loose.
However, when the dangerous Jayasuriya trod on his stumps whilst playing back to an Umar Gul delivery and Kumar Sangakkara fell for 16, Pakistan forced themselves back into the match.
From 66-2, Dilshan and Kandamby steadied the Sri Lanka innings superbly. Dilshan hit 11 boundaries before hooking straight into the hands of Misbah-ul-Haq at deep square-leg in the 30th over.
The 26-year-old Kandamby, playing only his sixth ODI, batted with resolve, hitting four boundaries off 79 balls. His previous best of 40 came against Zimbabwe in Harare last year.
Kandamby added another 41 for the fourth wicket with captain Mahela Jayawardene, who made 24 before edging through to Kamran Akmal off Gul.
Chamara Kapugedera hit two boundaries and as many sixes in his rapid 39-ball 44 as Sri Lanka added 79 runs in their last 10 overs. Gul was the pick of Pakistan bowlers with 4-58.
Pakistan made a disastrous start to their innings - losing opener Khurram Manzoor (1) in the first over, before Younus Khan (4) and Misbah (1) fell by the fourth over with the score at just 17.
Salman Butt, who hit a match-winning 100 not out in the series opener, rescued Pakistan in tandem with captain Shoaib Malik (54) through a 108-run stand for the fourth wicket, raising hopes of a home victory.
However, both fell in successive overs with the score on 125 to all but end Pakistan's hopes of clinching the three-match series with a game to spare.
Malik hit five boundaries and a six during his 52-ball knock before he fell to a miscued cut off Muralitharan in the 24th over. Five balls later Butt was caught by Jayawardene at cover off Jayasuriya's bowling.
Pakistan lost their last seven wickets for a meagre 36 runs as Sri Lanka's devastating spin combination ran amok.
The sides meet again on Saturday in Lahore to contest a mouth-watering winner-takes-all spectacle.