Sri Lankans learnt the lesson from their first one-day defeat to take sweet revenge in the second one day international at the Pallekele cricket Stadium on Saturday.
Batsmen let Pakistan down in the second one day match against Sri Lanka and fell 76 runs short of victory target.
Azhar Ali frustrated Sri Lankans bowling due to his sensible batting but was unlucky as he became prey to nervous nineties to fell four runs short of his century.
Pakistan have the chance to win the second one-day till Azhar Ali was at the crease but his departure proved the turning point for Pakistan. At the halfway stage, Pakistan weren't quite at pace with the required rate, but had wickets in hand to mount a tall target.
Azhar did well to shrug off the tag of being a 'Test-match player' despite less opportunities he's got in ODIs isn't terrific for a top-order batsman (62.10).
Despite that, Pakistan have shown faith in him for his ability to occupy the crease by picking him. Azhar survived an early let-off when an outside edge sailed between the two slips. Azhar relied purely on timing to fetch his boundaries with minimal foot movement, he managed to drive on the up and yet place it in the gaps through the off side. The pace at which he scored would have surprised Sri Lanka. The short of a length deliveries were punched off the back foot, while the fuller ones were driven through the covers.
He was confident enough to walk down the pitch to the seamers to negate the swing while survived two close run-out calls - one at the bowler's end when Kulasekara got a hand to a straight drive that deflected to the stumps when on 25, and the other on 71 when he dived to beat a throw from the outfield. Sri Lanka managed only a couple of wickets, the standout dismissal being a brilliant one-handed return catch by Thisara Perera to get rid of Hafeez.
Perrera got six wickets and Kulasekara and Malinga got two wickets each as Pakistani batsmen fail to play quota of 50 overs and were bundled out in the 47th over the game.
Earlier, the Sri Lankan captain after winning the toss and chose to bat first as |Mahela Jayawardene reshuffled batting order sent Tharanga to open the innings and the opener provided 37 runs first wicket stand.
Tharanga was first to go and then Dilshan and Sangakkara took score to 85 before the later fell prey to Hafeez who provided crucial breakthrough on his first bowl of his spell. He offered catch back to Hafeez who made no mistake to dismiss Sangakkara.
Chandimal and Dilshan took score to 154 and It was looking that Sri Lanka is set to score 270 plus runs. Afridi removed Chandimal and then Jayawardene joined with Dilshan who blocked one end up.
Dilshan nudged and punched the singles during the stand, allowing Jayawardene to play the aggressor. Dilshan started tiring after the batting Powerplay, searching for the boundaries but failing to get the ball past the infield. He hit just two boundaries between the 37th and 50th overs, including the only six of the match, off Tanvir. After getting to his century in the 43rd over, he managed only 19 in the remaining seven. It didn't cause a slowdown because Jayawardene and later Thisara Perera were around to ensure a healthy score.
Sohail Tanvir, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal and M Hafeez got one wicket each.
Though Rahat Ali bowled well and surprised each batsmen but was unlucky to get any wicket.