DUBAI // Sri Lanka's win over Pakistan in their second one day international (ODI) has given them a badly-needed confidence boost for the rest of the five-match series, according to Tillakaratne Dilshan, the captain.
Pakistan won the first match, also played in Dubai, by eight wickets on Friday. The third match is scheduled here on Friday.
"It's a big relief to win, we badly needed to win the match," said Dilshan, whose team lost the preceding three-Test series 1-0. "It was a fantastic team effort and now we have more confidence for the rest of the matches."
Sri Lanka posted 235 for seven in their allotted 50 overs with opener Upul Tharanga (77) and Mahela Jayawardene (50) the main contributors, before Lasith Malinga, the fast bowler, restricted Pakistan to 210 by taking three for 36.
Dilshan said early wickets in Pakistan's innings turned the match in Sri Lanka's favour.
"We needed early wickets and thanks to Lasith we got two in the first over but we still kept the pressure because we knew Pakistan has a strong batting line-up and I am happy that our bowling unit did well," said Dilshan.
Umar Akmal hit an aggressive 91 and Shahid Afridi a fiery 14-ball 29, but three run outs did not help Pakistan's run chase.
Dilshan praised experienced batsman Jayawardene and hoped he will continue his return to form.
"Before the match Mahela had knee problem but he showed a lot of character and I am happy to have him and other senior player [Kumar] Sangakkara in my team, both are assets for us," said Dilshan.
Since Dilshan took over in May, Sri Lanka have yet to win a Test or one-day series, losing to England in England and against Australia at home.
"We have to keep consistency and I hope that we play this brand of cricket for which we are known for," said Dilshan.
Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, rued the early fall of wickets to the Sri Lankans.
"We lost three early wickets and then kept on losing wickets, and that built pressure on us," said Misbah, who put on 64 for the fourth wicket with Akmal before being trapped leg-before by paceman Dilhara Fernando for 21.
"It was a bad day for us and now we need to put our heads down and learn from our mistakes," said Misbah, who was appointed captain for all three forms of the game in June.
The remaining matches in the series will be played in Sharjah [November 20] and Abu Dhabi [November 23]. Both teams also play a Twenty20 international on November 25.