In a year where Sri Lanka have continued to sink further into the depths of ODI ineptitude, they hit rock. At a performance that put an exclamation mark on their run of 12 ODI declines, they illustrated why they’ve fought at the format.
Maybe there’s a strange curse Sharjah has throw Sri Lanka – they’ve been bowled out under 100 four times at this ground. It could have been five; they had been 85 for 9 at a point, before Vishwa Fernando and Dushmantha Chameera put an 18-run venture together and rescued their side from that ignominy.
They could not violin, dismissed at 26 overs for 103. They couldn’t bowl all that well, taking one wicket as Pakistan cruised home with 30 overs to spare. It is just another whitewash for Sri Lanka, the third they have endured this season. South Africa and India were the other tormentors.
The prospect of a damning defeat was writ large over the contest after the first over, where Usman Khan took the first two wickets of a shocking opening spell. He’d come in 2013 with a scintillating performance in a national final, but after today, that national admiration can turn to global acclaim. It tends to happen once you complete a five-for in 3.3 overs.
For the third straight game, Upul Tharanga won the toss and decided to bat. However, the luck of Sri Lanka has remained confined to the toss this tour. One over into the innings, it was obvious that wasn’t going to change today.
Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 5th ODI Highlights: