It’s a ham­mer­ing as Pak­istan make it a clean sweep


The Cricket Paper - - INTERNATIONAL CRICKET - By Ge­orge Jones

PAK­ISTAN com­pleted a clean sweep of a Sri Lanka side which re­turned to bad habits in the fourth and fifth ODIs of the se­ries.

In Shar­jah, Sar­fraz Ahmed’s side took ad­van­tage of the most ab­ject dis­play Sri Lanka have turned in since the five-match se­ries be­gan.

Slump­ing to 99-7, Lahiru Thi­r­i­manne (62) per­formed a res­cue act to spare Sri Lanka’s blushes and take their to­tal to 173 all out, with help from tailen­ders Ak­ila Danan­jaya (23)

and Su­ranga Lak­mal (18).

Pak­istan raced to their tar­get to win with 11 overs to spare to win by 7 wick­ets and leave Sri Lanka with slim hopes of con­so­la­tion in the fifth ODI.

The tourists stooped to an­other level of inept in the sec­ond match in Shar­jah with just one bats­man putting up num­bers higher than 20 and three of their top five bats­men scor­ing ducks.

If Sri Lanka have been tee­ter­ing on the edge of a cliff for much of 2017 it was in this match they took the plunge.

Us­man Khan was the fuel for a fiery ex­hi­bi­tion of ex­press pace bowl­ing in bowl­ing Sri Lanka out for 103 inside 27 overs. Of the five bats­men the left-arm quick dis­missed in his match fig­ures of 5-34, a mere 14 runs were com­piled.

In reply, Sri Lanka’s bowlers wilted to al­low Pak­istan open­ers Imam ul-Haq and Fakhar Za­man fight it out to reach fifty. Za­man com­ing clos­est on 48 un­til he be­came the only wicket to fall and Pak­istan fin­ish­ing off a onesided en­counter shortly af­ter­wards.

Five stars: Us­man Khan claimed 5-34

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