Razzaq shines in low-scoring encounter
by AFP

Ground:R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Scorecard:Sri Lanka v Pakistan
Player:Abdul Razzaq
Event:Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2005/06

DateLine: 19th March 2006


Abdul Razzaq anchored Pakistan during a hard-fought four-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the second one-day international here on Sunday.


The all-rounder struck a defiant 41 not out as Pakistan overcame a top-order collapse to pass the home side's meagre 130 and take an unbeatable 1-0 lead in the three-match series.


The first match was abandoned due to rain on Friday.


Razzaq played an uncharacteristically subdued 101-ball knock. He did not hit a boundary off the first 98 deliveries before unleashing some big shots to seal a memorable win with over five overs to spare.


Razzaq, who had earlier in the day bagged two wickets, hit seamer Nuwan Kulasekara for a four, a six and then a winning four through mid-wicket off consecutive balls.


He added 35 for the sixth wicket with Mohammad Yousuf (26) and an unfinished 52 for the next with Kamran Akmal (20) after the other batsmen failed to apply themselves on a pitch not conducive to strokeplay.


Pakistan came under pressure after throwing away their first few wickets.


Hard-hitting opener Shahid Afridi (two) skied a ball from paceman Lasith Malinga for wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara to take a well-judged catch.


Left-hander Salman Butt (four) chased a ball outside off stump from seamer Farveez Maharoof, edging the ball to Sangakkara. Younis Khan (four) was run out soon afterwards.


Captain Inzamam-ul Haq and Shoaib Malik also contributed little as Pakistan sank to a dismal 47-5 before Razzaq and Yousuf steadied the innings.


"Razzaq made the win possible for us. Sri Lanka fought back very well but I thought our bowlers did a good job earlier in the day by not giving away easy runs," said Inzamam.


Earlier, Sri Lanka crashed for just 130 as Pakistan's seamers justified Inzamam's decision to field first, ripping through the top and middle-order to reduce the home side to 56-7 by the 21st over.


Tillakaratne Dilshan's gritty 48 not out lent the score some respectability in the company of tail-enders. He added 42 with Kulasekara (11) for the eighth wicket and 25 for the ninth with Malinga (15).


Dilshan faced 75 deliveries and hit just three fours as the Pakistani bowlers took turns tormenting the batting line-up. Rana Naved returned the best figures of 3-23.


Razzaq and Rao Iftikhar bagged a couple each while Mohammad Asif was lucky to dismiss left-hander Sangakkara for one. He was adjudged leg-before even though replays showed that the ball pitched well outside leg stump.


Leg-spinner Afridi claimed the wickets of Kulasekara and Malinga to stem the rearguard action and Sri Lanka were all out in the 45th over.


Mahela Jayawardene led Sri Lanka in the absence of captain Marvan Atapattu, who was ruled out of the series with a back injury.


Atapattu was the latest addition to the injury list which includes former captain Sanath Jayasuriya, veteran seamer Chaminda Vaas and emerging pace bowler Ruchira Perera.


"We didn't have our best bowlers but I though we bowled with our hearts. We should have batted better and got at least 150 to 160 runs," said Jayawardene.


The final one-dayer will be held here on Wednesday and will be followed by a two-Test series.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)


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