Azam and Shadab power Pakistan to victory in Abu Dhabi thriller
Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by 32 runs in the second one-day international on Monday
Babar Azam hit a second successive century and Shadab Khan gave a strong all-round performance as Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by 32 runs in the second one-day international on Monday.
Azam scored 101 off 133 balls a day after celebrating his 23rd birthday, while Shadab dug in to score 52 not out to lift Pakistan's total to 219-9.
They featured in a 109-run stand after Pakistan was 101-6 against seamers Lahiru Gamage (4-57) and Thisara Perera (2-34).
Captain Upul Tharanga became the first Sri Lankan to carry his bat in an ODI with an unbeaten 112 off 144 balls including 14 fours, but his team was bowled out for 187 in 48 overs.
"Our batting collapsed but the way they (Azam and Shadab) batted after that on a difficult pitch was brilliant," said Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed, who won the toss. "The pitch kept getting slower and slower, so batting wasn't easy ... if we trust the youngsters, they give us good performances."
Shadab also outfoxed the batsmen with his legspin to finish with 3-47 as, yet again, the Sri Lanka top order failed to fire as it did in the first game of five, which it lost 83 runs on Friday.
Azam and Shadab batted resolutely and rotated the strike with singles and twos much to the frustration of Sri Lanka. Neither attempted expansive shots.
Azam raised his century with only six boundaries before he missed Gamage's low full toss in the last over and was caught at long on. In the run chase, Tharanga struggled to get partnerships going and survived two early catching chances when Shadab and Azam dropped sitters.
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The Sri Lanka captain also successfully overturned a caught behind decision against him on 29, and Pakistan missed an opportunity to have him lbw on 46.
Shadab didn't go for the video review when replays showed the ball would have crashed on to the stumps.But Sri Lanka always lagged behind despite Tharanga's chancy stay at the crease. It slipped to 93-7, losing five wickets in seven overs. Shadab claimed three of those wickets.
Tharanga added 76 runs with Jeffrey Vandersay (22) but never looked to threaten Pakistan's total before Vandersay holed out in the deep and the last two batsmen were run out.
"When you're 90 for 7, it's a tough task," Tharanga said. "It was good to carry the bat, but disappointed with the result."
Sri Lanka has lost 18 of its 23 ODIs in 2017, including 5-0 defeats against South Africa and India.
Updated: October 17, 2017 04:18 AM