Mathews help SL seal series
Angelo Mathews smashed 14 in the final over in Colombo on Monday to lead Sri Lanka to a two-wicket win against Pakistan in the fifth one-day international for a 3-1 victory in the series.
Mathews slammed a straight six off Mohammad Sami's second delivery before punching a boundary over point on the fourth ball to seal a memorable win in front of a packed house at R Premadasa Stadium.
Mathews top-scored with 80 not out from 76 balls as Sri Lanka reached 248-8 to eclipse Pakistan's 247-7 with two balls to spare.
Dinesh Chandimal scored 54, while Kumar Sangakkara made 40. Sohail Tanvir was the pick of Pakistan's bowlers with 3-42.
Mathews, who walked in at 97-4, had solid support from the lower middle order as Sri Lanka pulled back what had looked a lost cause when Lahiru Thirimanne was run out for 11 to make it 175-7.
After Sohail Tanvir removed the openers to reduce Sri Lanka to 19-2, the hosts recovered thanks to Sangakkara and Chandimal, who added 78 for the third wicket.
The leg spin of Shahid Afridi brought Pakistan back into the game, dismissing Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene in successive deliveries.
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Chandimal completed his first half-century in nine games but was dismissed shortly afterward, attempting to make use of the fielding restrictions during the Power Play but failing to clear long-on to be caught by Mohammad Sami in a good catch.
The big-hitting Thisara Perera was then run out when he tested mid-off's arm, and Lahiru Thirimanne followed in the same fashion after a 37-run stand with Mathews. Sri Lanka needed 73 off 55 balls at that point.
Earlier, half-centuries by Imran Farhat and Umar Akmal helped Pakistan reach a competitive total.
Farhat, who had come into the side at the expense of out-of form Younis Khan, shared a 60-run stand with Azhar Ali before being dismissed for 56.
Another 60-run stand between Misbah-ul-Haq and Akmal for the fifth wicket followed as Pakistan pushed its total beyond 200.
The 22-year-old Akmal, who had struggled for runs in the series, returned to form with his 15th ODI half-century batting. His 50 came off 49 balls and he was unbeaten on 55 at the end of the innings. His knock included five fours and two sixes.
SRI LANKA: TM Dilshan, WU Tharanga, DPMD Jayawardene (capt), LD Chandimal, KC Sangakkara (wk), HDRL Thirimanne, AD Mathews, NLTC Perera, KMDN Kulasekara, SL Malinga, BMAJ Mendis
PAKISTAN: Imran Farhat, Mohammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Sami