Kapugedera guides Sri Lanka to victory
by AFP

Ground:Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, Dambulla
Scorecard:Sri Lanka v Pakistan
Player:Umar Akmal, Mohammad Aamer, M Muralitharan, MTT Mirando, CK Kapugedera
Event:Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2009

DateLine: 1st August 2009


Chamara Kapugedera hit an unbeaten 67 as Sri Lanka overcame early shocks to defeat Pakistan by six wickets in the second one-day international here on Saturday.


Thilan Thushara and Muttiah Muralitharan shared five wickets as Sri Lanka bowled out Pakistan for 168 runs and then surpassed the modest target in the 44th over at the Rangiri International Stadium.


Sri Lanka were given a scare when they were reduced to 44-3 in the 11th over after losing captain Kumar Sangakkara and Sanath Jayasuriya in the space of three deliveries.


Mahela Jayawardene's dismissal in the 23rd over made it 74-4, but the fifth-wicket pair of Kapugedara and Thilan Samaraweera (38 not out) put on 95 runs to hand the hosts a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.


The tourists paid for a shoddy batting display after being sent in to bat in overcast conditions and were bundled out in 47 overs.


The 26 extras sent down by the Sri Lankan bowlers, including 18 wides, were the highest contributor in Pakistan's innings.


The tourists were reduced to 128-9 before the last pair of Mohammad Aamer (24) and Saeed Ajmal (16) gave the top order a batting lesson by adding 40 runs.


Pakistan captain Younus Khan, who made 23, was the only other batsman to pass 20 as left-arm seamer Thushara finished with 3-33 and off-spinner Muralitharan claimed 2-41.


"We obviously have not learnt our lessons," said Younus, whose team lost the preceding Test series 2-0.


"We are still making the same mistakes and are not able to build partnerships. We should definitely have got 200 here because that would have been difficult to chase."


Sangakkara said it was a good win after losing early wickets.


"It was not as smooth as we had hoped for," the Sri Lankan captain said. "The bowlers did a very good job with the new ball. And I thought Chamara and Samaraweera applied themselves well.


"Kapugedera is a special player, if we keep giving him opportunities he will serve Sri Lanka well."


Pakistan's gambled to play two 19-year-olds, Nasir Jamshed and Umar Akmal, in place of senior batsmen Mohammad Yousuf and Misbah-ul Haq did not pay off.


Opener Jamshed was dismissed off the first ball of the match when he chased a wide from Nuwan Kulasekera into the safe hands of Jayawardene at second slip.


Debutant Umar, younger brother of the team's wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal, made a promising 18 during a fourth-wicket stand of 32 with Younus when he was caught behind off Angelo Mathews.


But even the experienced batsmen failed to negotiate the spot-on Sri Lankan attack.


Former captain Shoaib Malik was trapped leg-before by Thushara before he had scored and Shahid Afridi threw away his wicket with a wild slog off Muralitharan that was skied to deep mid-wicket.


Pakistan were struggling at 87-7 before Abdul Razzaq (17) and Umar Gul (14) put on 38 for the eighth wicket to lift the total past the 100-run mark.


The third match will be played at the same venue on Monday.

(Article: Copyright © 2009 AFP)