Pallekele, Jun 8: Mohammad Hafeez and Misbah-ul-Haq script an instrumental six wicket win for Pakistan against Sri Lanka in the rain-hit first One-day international at Pallekele on Thursday.
Chasing a low total Pakistan lost a couple of wickets at the start of the innings and looked shaky at 27/2 after 7 overs, while Hafeez (37) and Misbah (30) held the innings as they added 51 for the third wicket which gave Pakistan a lot of hope to aim for a win.
Umar Akmal (36*) and Misbah then ensured that Pakistan take a 1-0 lead in the five match ODI series against Sri Lanka.
Earlier in the day, Sri Lanka after winning the toss, elected to bat first and posted 135/8 in 42 overs as rain interrupted the innings thrice which saw Lankans post a low total at 3.21 runs per over. Sri Lanka's Lahiru Thirimanne scored an unbeaten 42 to help the hosts reach 135/8.
Rain interrupted the match, as Pakistan were aiming to wrap up the Lankan innings while the hosts were tottering at 107/7 in 37 overs.
Umar Gul and Mohammad Sami were clinical in their approach as they claimed three wickets each to restrict the hosts to a low total.
With this win, Pakistan have won 9 out of 11 ODIs against Sri Lanka. This match will be remembered as one of the longest matches played as it was interrupted thrice while not many overs were reduced.
Sri Lanka's poor batting let them down in the first ODI against Pakistan at Pallekele. The hosts would like to put up a good show against their opponents in the second ODI to be played at the same venue on Saturday.
Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (Captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Dinesh Chandimal, Kumar Sangakkara (Wicket-keeper), Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Rangana Herath, Lasith Malinga
Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (Captain) Mohammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Sarfraz Ahmed (Wicket-keeper), Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Sami
Umpires: Ranmore Martinesz (Sri Lanka) and Paul Reiffel (Australia)
Third umpire: Ruchira Palliyaguruge (Sri Lanka)
Match referee: Chris Broad (England)