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Dilshan and Perera help level series

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Tillakaratne Dilshan and Thisara Perera sparkled as Sri Lanka levelled their one-day international series against Pakistan with a comfortable 76-run victory in the second encounter in Pallekele.

Dilshan struck a marvellous unbeaten 119 off 139 balls, while Mahela Jayawardene's fifty and a late blast from Perera helped the hosts, whose batting line-up was heavily criticised following their six-wicket defeat on Thursday, reach 280 for four.

Thisara Perera

Thisara Perera impressed with bat before taking career-best ODI bowling figures to see Sri Lanka to a series-levelling win against Pakistan today

Despite Azhar Ali making 96 in reply, Perera took 6-44 as Pakistan were all out for 204 to ensure the series is now tied at 1-1.

The hosts made just 135 for eight off 42 overs in the first ODI, but won the toss and decided to bat, with Jayawardene dropping down the order and Upul Tharanga opening alongside Dilshan.

The latter was out of sorts earlier this week, but proved a calming influence today, striking 11 fours and a six en route to his 13th ODI century.

With Dilshan anchoring the innings at one end, captain Jayawardene looked at ease batting down the order at five and his 53 came off just 45 balls before Perera boosted Sri Lanka's total with a blistering 24 off 14 deliveries.

Mohammad Hafeez took 1-30 from his eight overs, but the rest of Pakistan's attack struggled on a drier pitch to that of Thursday.

In response, Pakistan's top order was undermined by Perera, who claimed the first four wickets to fall, although they were still in with a slim chance while Azhar was still there.

But when he was bowled by Nuwan Kulasekara's yorker four shy of a maiden ODI century in the 37th over, the game was up.

Perera, who finished with career-best ODI figures, and Lasith Malinga then picked up two wickets apiece before Kulasekara had Sarfraz Ahmed trapped in front for 20 to wrap up up a comfortable win for Sri Lanka.