Kusal helps Sri Lanka to consolation victory


A century from opener Kusal Perera was the cornerstone to Sri Lanka comfortably beating Pakistan by 165 runs in the fifth and final ODI to register a consolation victory in the series.

With Pakistan already having won the series, leading three-one, Kusal hammered 116 off 109 balls, including nine fours and four sixes, in Hambantota as the hosts posted a formidable 368 for four in their 50 overs.

Kusal's opening partner Tillakaratne Dilshan hit 62 as the two shared in a stand of 164 after their captain Angelo Mathews won the toss and chose to bat first.

Both openers were run-out before the 34th over but the home team continued to play with freedom as Lahiru Thirimanne (30) and Dinesh Chandimal (29) both stroked their runs at more than run a ball.

Mathews (70* in 40 balls) and Milinda Siriwardana (52* in 26 balls), who made his debut in the first match of the series, were the batsmen who propelled the innings with an unbeaten partnership of 114 in just nine overs.

The Pakistan chase never really got going as they folded for a paltry total of 203 all out. Only captain Azhar Ali (35) and Mohammad Hafeez (37) were batsmen that were worth mentioning.

Recalled spinner Sachithra Senanayake was the best bowler on show with figures of three for 39 in eight overs.

With Pakistan having won the Test and ODI series by the odd game, the teams now tackle each other in two T20 matches.