Kusal Perera Leads Sri Lanka to Big Win over Pakistan

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Kusal Perera scored a majestic century as Sri Lanka thrashed Pakistan by 165 runs in the fifth and final one-day international in Hambantota on Sunday.

The left-hander opener scored 116 and shared a first-wicket stand of 164 runs with Tillakaratne Dilshan (62) as Sri Lanka piled up 368-4 –their highest ODI total against Pakistan.

Pakistan crumbled in pursuit of a daunting chase and were bundled out for 203 in 38th over.

The visitors had already clinched the series after winning the fourth ODI in Colombo by seven wickets.

The visitors had reached 116-2 in the 20th over thanks to a 51-run first-wicket stand between skipper Azhar Ali (35) and Ahmed Shehzad (18) but failed to sustain momentum and lost eight wickets in space of 87 runs.

Mohammad Hafeez top-scored for Pakistan with 37 while Mohammad RIzwan and Sarfraz Ahmed scored 29 and 27 runs respectively.

Off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake, playing his first match in the series, claimed figures of 3-39 while seamer Thisara Perera finished with 2-38.

Earlier, Kusal and Dilshan got the hosts off to a flamboyant start after they elected to bat.

Dilshan become the only 11th batsman and fourth Sri Lankan to complete 10,000 runs in one-day cricket when took a single off spinner Shoaib Malik to move to 55.

Previously his compatriots Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara have achieved the feat. The list of all-time top scorers in ODI is topped by India great Sachin Tendulkar, who scored 18,426 ODI runs.

The 38-year-old right-hander added seven more runs to his total before getting run-out. His 70-ball knock was studded with six boundaries.

Kusal brought up his second ODI century off 90 balls with a boundary. He was run out in the 34th over after playing a 109-ball knock that featured nine boundaries and four sixes.

Left-arm pacer Rahat Ali struck twice in quick-succession to account for Lahiru Thirimanne (30) and Dinesh Chamdinal (39) as Sri Lanka slipped to 254-4 by 41st over before skipper Angelo Mathews (70) and Milinda Siriwardana shared an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 112 runs off just 53 balls to take the Islanders past their previous best total of 9-349 against Pakistan, which they had made in Singapore in 1996.

Mathews hit eight boundaries and two sixes in his 40-ball knock while Siriwardana’s 26-ball knock featured four boundaries and three sixes.

The two sides will now play two T20 internationals in Colombo, on July 30 and August 1.

Pakistan had also won the preceding three Test series 2-1.

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