Angelo Mathews produced a captain’s innings to lead Sri Lanka to a nail-biting two-wicket win in the second one-day international against Pakistan in Dubai.
Chasing 285 for victory, Sri Lanka got home with just two balls to spare to level the five-match series at 1-1 heading into game three in Sharjah on Sunday.
Mathews’ 47 runs off 44 deliveries helped get his side over the line after Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara and Dinesh Chandimal had laid the groundwork.
Despite losing Kusal Perera early, Sri Lanka were initially driven by Dilshan – who played with typical fluency en route to 40.
Sangakkara and Chandimal took centre stage thereafter, hitting 58 and 44 respectively in a stand that fell just shy of three figures.
A collapse in the middle threatened to undermine their efforts as Junaid Khan claimed three wickets yet Mathews – well supported by Nuwan Kulasekara’s 32 – struck 47.
Even his departure could not hinder the tourists thereafter as Dimuth Karunaratne and Sachithra Senanayake finished the job.
Sri Lanka’s balanced batting performance proved sufficient despite Ahmed Shehzad hitting a century as Pakistan racked up 284 for four from their 50 overs.
The 22-year-old opener almost batted through the innings as he paced himself to three figures with eight boundaries in a 140-ball 124.
Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq finished unbeaten on 59 and along with Shahid Afridi – who ended on 30 not out – took 51 from the final 29 balls.