(18th June 2012) : A gloomy and the rainy weather of Sri Lanka nicely ceased well by the start of the match and Pakistan won the toss elected to bat first on the a must-win game. Pakistan rested Younis Khan due to his recent form issues and has bought in Mohammad Sami for Saeed Ajmal which is a surprising decision by Captain Misbah. Sri Lanka started off with the same team except Sajeewa Weerakoon who was replaced by Jeevan Mendis.
Sri Lankan opening bowlers kept it tight from the first over and unfortunate Hafeez who already had enough ducks in the series again failed for just 6 runs. Proffesor failed to pick the Kulasekara’s ball which took the stumps off directly. But then joined the crease captain Misbah with the young man Farhat who made a brilliant 50 took Pakistan to a good position until the Lankan iron man Thisara Perera broke the partnership by taking off Farhat in the first ball of the bowling power play. Farhat completely misjudged and pulled it off straight towards the midwicket where it was perfectly taken by young Chandimal who ran about 10 meters forward. Skipper Mahela’s perfect field placement was again revealed from the wicket of Farhat.
Azhar, Pakistan’s lonely warrior throughout the series couldn’t do much damage today and was limited to 30 yet again because good bowling and fielding of Sri Lankan camp. Mendis started off with a brilliant first over and continued it by taking Azhar Ali’s wicket in the very next over. Lahiru Thirimanna took a quick lower catch to take Azhar’s wicket
Asad Shafiq and Skipper Misbah then started to build up the Pakistan innings by nicely rotating the strike and absorbing runs as much as they can but the Sri Lankan superb fielding didn’t let it go on for long as Lahiru Thirimanne sent back Shafiq through a fantastic direct hit in the 33rd over while Pakistan was 113/3. Young gun in the Pakistan side, Umar Akmal who is a power hitter joined the skipper and even with his clumsy self managed to pull a much needed 50 and stayed till the end of the Pakistan innings.
Shahid Afiridi again failed to deliver to the level he is expected and the Pakistan innings ended up with a total of 247/7 leaving Sri Lanka a target of 248.
Sri Lankan bowling was tight and all the bowlers gave their best expect Thisara Perera who couldn’t deliver much of his magic today and the ground fielding of Sri Lanka was brilliant even though few run out chances and a catch was missed. Pakistan tail - enders and the middle order failed to accumulate the score at the end of the match especially in the last 10 overs event though they had few power hitters down the line. One important factor in the Sri Lankan camp was the extra ordinary feild placement and bowler variation by skipper Mahela who proved his class once again in the international arena.