Pacer Hasan Ali produced his career-best bowling figures and debutante Imam-ul Haq proved his critics wrong as Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets to seal five-match ODI series 3-0 in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
The day started with visitors captain Upul Tharanga winning the toss and deciding to bat first.His decision proved a correct one until the 10th over, when the Islanders were going at nearly six runs per over without losing a wicket.
However, all of that changed with the arrival of Hasan, who claimed the wicket of Niroshan Dickwella to start a collapse from which the visitors could not recover and was eventually bowled out for 208 in the 49th over.
Skipper Tharanga finished the innings with the top score of 61 off 80 balls with the help of five boundaries, whereas all-rounder Thisara Perera scored quick-fire 38 off 37 with the help of five fours to give some respectability to the visitors’ total.
For Pakistan, Hasan was star of the show as he finished his quota of 10 overs with figures of five for 34, whereas leg-spinner Shadab Khan supported him nicely by picking up two crucial scalps.
Chasing 209 to clinch the series, Pakistan never looked in trouble and chase down the target with more than seven overs to spare in the 43rd over.Debutante Imam, who faced severe criticism for his selection ahead of seasoned campaigners, became the second Pakistani to score century on ODI debut, and finished the innings with the top score of exactly 100 with the help of five fours and two sixes.
For Sri Lanka, pacer Gamage, Perera and leg-spinner Vandersay claimed one wicket each.
The next match of the series will be played in Sharjah on Friday.