Colombo, Feb 26: Pakistan put on a competent performance with the bat, reaching a competitive total of 277/7 in 50 overs against Sri Lanka, in the 10th match of the World Cup. Misbah top-scored with a forceful, unbeaten 83 off 91 balls and was rendered abundant support from Younis Khan, who made 72 off 76. While their fielding was top-notch, there was nothing extraordinary about the Lankan bowling with Thisara Perea picking up 2/62 off 9 overs and Rangana Herath ensnaring 2/46 off 10.
Winning the toss and opting to bat first, Pakistan got off to a fairly forceful start. Ahmed Shehzad struck Nuwan Kulaseakara and Thilan Perera for a four each in the first two overs, while Mohammad Hafeez did the same in the fourth and fifth. But the Perera got his revenge when he had Shehzad caught behind for 13 off 23 balls and Pakistan were 28/1 in 5.3 overs.
At the other end, Hafeez decicded to counter attack belligerently, carting Kulasekara for a six and a boundary in successive deliveries. Then Kamran Akmal got into the act, smacking a four off Perera in the 8th over and two boundaries off Kulasekara in the 9th over as Pakistan moved past 50 in the 9th over. The fours kept coming fairly fluently till in the 14th over, Hafeez was run out for 32 off 31 balls as Pakistan slipped to 76/2 in 13.1 overs.
Then with Younis Khan for company, Kamran Akmal pressed on and struck a four off Angelo Mathews to bring up Pakistan's 100 in the 19th over. But soon after he was stumped off Rangana Herath for 39 off 48 balls. Pakistan were 105/3 in 20.2 overs.
Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis settled into a rhythm of taking ones and twos welcoming the occasional boundary. Their patience paid off as Pakistan crossed 150 in the 30th over and then 200 in the 39th over. En route, at 170/3, Younis took a single off Herath to notch up his 50 and Misbah brought up his own in teh 40th over from a double of the same bowler.
After a 108-run stand, for the fourth wicket, Younis was finally foxed by Herath when he holed out to deep square leg for 72 opff 76 balls. Pakistan were 213/4 in 40.5 overs.
In the 45th over, Umar Akmal and Misbah teamed up to each knock a four off Kulasekara. But in the next over, the old war-horse Muttiah Muralitharan struck to dismiss Umar Akmal for 10 of balls. Pakistan were 238/5 in 45.3 overs.
In the 48th over, Misbah and Afridi each took a four off Perera as Pakistan crossed 250 before Afridi rounded off the over with another boundary. In gthe penultimate over, Misbah got Mathews away for a four, but 3 balls later, the bowler foxed Shahid ASfirid who was out for 16 off 12.
In the final over of the Pakistan innings, after Misbah flicked Perer for nother boundary, the bowler got Abdul Razzaq caught off the last ball as Pakistan finished with 277/7 in 50 overs.