Razzaq masterminds Pak win

Jaipur, October 17:

Abdul Razzaq put in a superb all-round show as doping-hit Pakistan turned the form-book upside down with a four-wicket win over Sri Lanka in a Champions Trophy match today. Pakistan did a commendable job when they restricted Sri Lanka to 253 despite missing key pacemen Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif, who returned home on Monday after failing dope tests.

Seamer Razzaq came to Pakistan’s rescue with four wickets before completing the job with a quickfire 38 not out off 24 balls. He exploded with a flurry of boundaries, finishing the match with his second six. He added 54 with Shoaib Malik (46 not out) as Pakistan won with 11 balls to spare. This was Sri Lanka’s first defeat in four matches of the ongoing tournament, having won three games in the preliminary round.

Imran Farhat had put Pakistan on the right track with an impressive 53 while Mohammad Yousuf continued the good work with 49 before being run out.

Sri Lanka paid dearly for letting off Farhat when the batsman was on 25, with skipper Mahela Jayawardene grassing a regulation slip catch off seamer Dilhara Fernando. Farhat hit eight fours in his fifth half-century. Pakistan suffered a setback when a well-set Yousuf fell short of the crease while going for a third run on a misfield, but they eventually found a match-winner in Razzaq.

Sri Lanka earlier looked like posting a big total when they raced to 108-1 in less than 18 overs, but Pakistan came back strongly to make their opponents struggle for runs in the middle and final overs. Razzaq led the fightback and received good support from off-spinner Malik (2-34) and leg-spinner Shahid Afridi, who bowled tightly in the middle overs.

Sanath Jayasuriya (48), Kumar Sangakkara (39), Upul Tharanga (38), Marvan Atapattu (36), Jayawardene (31) and Farveez Maharoof (22) got starts, but could not convert into a big knock. Jayawardene also became the fifth Sri Lankan to complete 6,000 runs in ODIs after Jayasuriya, Aravinda de Silva, Atapattu and Arjuna Ranatunga.

Jayasuriya, making a joint-record 368th appearance in ODIs, treated the new-ball attack with contempt as he punished Rana Naved and Rao Iftikhar during his 35-ball 48 which contained two sixes and five fours. India’s Sachin Tendulkar is the other batsman to play 368 ODIs.