Monday: Sri Lanka’s shambolic batting in the five-match one-day international series was laid to rest at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium yesterday when they were rolled over for a mere 103 runs to lose the fifth and final ODI to Pakistan by nine wickets and with it suffer their third 5-0 whitewash of the series for the year.
Sri Lanka earlier lost by 5-0 margins to South Africa and India. It was Sri Lanka’s 12th straight one-day defeat for the year while for Pakistan the Champions Trophy champs it was their ninth consecutive win.
The saddest part was that the contest if it can be called that was all over before the dinner break – that is normally taken at the end of the first side batting. In Sri Lanka’s case their entire innings lasted just 26.2 overs and Pakistan came back to commence their run chase because there was plenty of time for the dinner break.
In the event Pakistan knocked the required runs off in a matter of 20.2 overs with nearly 30 overs to spare making 105 for one with Imam-ul-Haq scoring an unbeaten 45 and Fakhar Zaman 48.
It was a fine come back by Pakistan after being whitewashed 2-0 in the Test series by Sri Lanka.
The Lankan batting yesterday was destroyed by left-arm seamer Usman Khan Shinwari who finished with a handsome bag of 5 wickets for 34 runs playing in only his second ODI to take the Man of the Match award.
Having made his mark in the fourth ODI at Sharjah with a wicket in his first over Usman repeated that success again with two wickets in his opening over sending back newcomer Sadeera Samarawickrama for his second duck in his first two innings in ODI cricket (to join Sri Lankans Susil Fernando and Champaka Ramamayake) and the big wicket of Dinesh Chandimal for a first ball duck.
Shinwari was all over Sri Lanka in his opening spell adding the wickets of Upul Tharanga (8), Niroshan Dickwella (0) and Milinda Siriwardana (6) taking five wickets in 21 balls before he was rested.
Sri Lanka by then were limping at 20-5, and there seemed to be no end to their misery as Hasan Ali the current no. 1 bowler in ODI rankings got into the act with the wicket of Lahiru Thirimanne the last of the recognised batsmen for 19.
By the end of the first power play (10 overs) Sri Lanka were five down for 39 with Shinwari tearing through the wobbly Lankan batting line up with some high quality left arm seam bowling that had the batsmen in sixes and sevens and unable to counter what had hit them.
It was however not the worst power play for Sri Lanka for they were 23/6 (10) against South Africa at Paarl in 2012 when Morne Morkel and Lonwabo Tsotsobe ran through a much stronger line up than the current one comprising Tharanga, Dilshan, Sangakkara, Chandimal and Mahela Jayawardene.
There was not much resistance on this occasion from the tail and despite a cameo knock of 25 off 29 balls from Thisara Perera the innings quickly folded up with Hasan Ali and Shadab Khan wrapping up the tail with much ado.
Hasan Ali with 14 wickets in the series at an average of 11.28 beat Babar Azam (303 run, avg. 101) to the Man of the Series award.
The two teams will now meet in a three-match T20 international series starting on Thursday at Abu Dhabi.