Sri Lanka edge Pakistan in close encounter


The Sri Lanka lower-order held their nerve as they steered their side to a narrow two-wicket win, with 11 balls remaining, over Pakistan in the second ODI and level the five-match series at one-all.

Chasing 288 to win, Sri Lanka got off to a fast start as opener Kusal Perera struck 68 from just 25 balls, including 13 fours and two sixes, as he and Tillakaratne Dilshan (47) put on 92 for the first wicket inside nine overs in Pallekele.

The Pakistan bowlers then fought back reducing the hosts to 159 for five, in the 25th over, before Dinesh Chandimal, with 48 not out, guided the lower-order to the victory.

Milinda Siriwardana (26), batting at number seven, debutant Sachith Pathirana (33), at number eight, and Thisara Perera (15) supported Chadimal in the closing stages.

Earlier, Pakistan's score of 287 for eight was set up by captain Azhar Ali who anchored the innings with 79 from 104 balls.

Shoaib Malik (51) and Mohammad Rizwan (52) struck fifties late on to propel the visitors to a decent total while Pathirana, bowling left-arm spin, and paceman Lasith Malinga took two wickets each.

The third match of the series takes place on Sunday in Colombo.