Malinga five-fer robs Pakistan of win

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Pakistan were well on course to win the opening Asia Cup match in Fatullah on Tuesday, but a five-fer from Lasith Malinga put paid to that idea as Sri Lanka won by 12 runs, with Pakistan all out for 284.

Pakistan were well on course to win the opening Asia Cup match in Fatullah on Tuesday, but a five-fer from Lasith Malinga put paid to that idea as Sri Lanka won by 12 runs, with Pakistan all out for 284.

Sri Lanka suffered a mini-collapse, but were still able to record a very defendable 296 for six thanks to a century from Lahiru Thirimanne. The batsman put on a stand of 161 with Kumar Sangakkara for the second wicket to build a solid platform, and though they lost a flurry of wickets, Sanga's 67 and Angelo Mathews 55 not out ensured a good score.

Pakistan then looked on course for a 250-plus winning chase for the first time since 2012, with Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Akmal going great guns in the middle overs, but once they were out for 73 and 74 respectively, Malinga wrapped up the tail with ease.

Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat first on a grey, shiny and flat track, and they proved the surface to be true and full of runs. After losing the early wicket of Kusal Perera, Sangakkara and Thirminanne let rip.

The pair put on 161 runs for the second wicket over the next 24 overs, going at nearly seven runs to the over. Sangakkara's great form continued as he made 67, before falling to Umar Gul. Thirimanne was out four overs later, for 102.

This left the bottom order to sort things out, and Mahela Jayawardene, Thisara Perera and Chaturanga de Silva were out cheaply. This left Mathews to steady the knock and he made 55 off 50 runs to ensure a big score.

Pakistan's chase got off to a fast start as Sharjeel Khan made 26 of the first 28 runs scored, but he was removed by Suranga Lakmal. A string of middle scores followed, with the top order failing to kick on, until Misbah and Umar joined forces.

They put on 121 together in 19 overs and the Pakistanis looked well on their way to a win. But as was the case in their series against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka were saved by their opposition's implosion, helped this time by Malinga.

He removed Misbah and then went on to bag the last four wickets in rapid succession, three of those coming in the 49th over to end the game. Pakistan went from needing 17 runs off 12 balls, to all out with seven balls left.

Pakistan: Ahmed Shehzad, Bilawal Bhatti, Junaid Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Sharjeel Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul

Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal, Chaturanga de Silva, Mahela Jayawardene, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Kumar Sangakkara, Sachithra Senanayake, Lahiru Thirimanne

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