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History for Babar as Pakistan see off Sri Lanka

16 Oktober 2017 21:32

Babar Azam claimed a share of one-day international history as Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by 32 runs in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

In knocking 101 off 133 deliveries, Babar became the first player in ODI cricket to score five consecutive centuries in the same country.

Babar's efforts glossed over the shortcomings of his team-mates, with Shadab Khan (52 not out) the only other man to make it beyond 11 as Pakistan finished on 219-9.

But Sri Lanka were similarly found wanting with the bat and, despite Upul Tharanga replicating Babar's heroics by racking up an unbeaten 112, it was not enough to rescue a result for his side.

The victory gives Pakistan a 2-0 lead after three instalments of the five-match series.

Pakistan chose to bat but saw their innings get off to an alarming start, as Fakhar Zaman (11), Ahmed Shehzad (8) and Mohammad Hafeez (8) fell quickly to leave their side 40-3.

Shoaib Malik (11), Sarfraz Ahmed (5) and Imad Wasim (10) soon followed, but Babar formed a fruitful partnership with Shadab for a seventh-wicket stand of 109 - the fourth highest for Pakistan in ODIs.

The pair provided an expert lesson in steadying the ship, steering their side over the 200-run mark when their prospects had looked decidedly bleak.

And, while Sri Lanka found their own standout performer in captain Tharanga, it was not enough to drag the tourists over the line, as they finished 32 runs short on 187 all out.

Tharanga did manage to put together a partnership of 76 with Jeffrey Vandersay (22), before a mix-up with Suranga Lakmal (1) put Sri Lanka on the ropes and a Lahiru Gamage (3) run out finished the job.

It was also confirmed on Monday that the third and final Twenty20 clash between the sides will be played in Lahore on October 29, following a thorough evaluation of security.

The only Test side to visit Pakistan since the Sri Lanka team bus was attacked by terrorists in the country in 2009 are Zimbabwe, who toured in May 2015.

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