Lasith Malinga has finally made an impact as a fast bowler in the series when he grabbed 4-57 as Sri Lanka bowled out Pakistan for 232 in the fifth and final one-day international.
Malinga, who had taken just two wickets in four matches, gave Sri Lanka hope of finishing the series on a consolation high on Friday, as Pakistan has an unassailable 3-1 lead.
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq scored 51, his 15th half century of the year, before falling to Malinga. Misbah confirmed he’ll finish 2013 as the leading run-scorer in one-day internationals.
Allrounder Anwar Ali, playing his first match of the series, hit a vital unbeaten 41 off 38 balls at the end.
Suranga Lakmal, with 3-42, wrapped up the innings by claiming the last two wickets off successive deliveries as Pakistan was bowled out – for the first time in the series – in 49.3 overs.
Captain Angelo Mathews lost the toss but led from the front with the new ball and preserved Malinga until the first batting powerplay.
Bowling too full
Opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad (17) hit Lakmal for a four and a six off successive deliveries before playing an expansive shot and holed out at mid-on in the sixth over.
Malinga was guilty of bowling too full in the previous four matches and conceded 10 runs in his first over but varied his pace intelligently by having struggling Sharjeel Khan caught and bowled off a slower ball in the next over.
Malinga struck again when Sohaib Maqsood was splendidly caught two-handedly by Tillakaratne Dilshan before Misbah and in-form Mohammad Hafeez (41) steadied the innings with a 58-run stand.
Hafeez, who had struck three centuries in the series, was bowled by Mathews in his return spell off a delivery that kept low and knocked back the off stump.
Malinga removed Misbah soon after the Pakistan captain reached his half century with a six, when wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara plucked a fine low catch to his left.
Pakistan was in sight of being dismissed for less than 200 until Saeed Ajmal and Ali added 32 runs off 23 balls for the ninth wicket, including 16 off Malinga’s last over. Lakmal closed the innings with three balls to spare.