KARACHI (IANS) — Openers Fakhar Zaman and Abid Ali scored fluent half-centuries before Haris Sohail struck a quickfire 56 as Pakistan won the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka 2-0 with a five-wicket victory in the crucial third and final match here Oct. 2.
Chasing 298 for victory, Pakistan rode Zaman's 76 from 91 balls (7x4, 1x6) and Ali's 74 off 67 balls (10x4) to set the tone early on as the pair added 123 for the opening wicket.
Leg spinner Wanindu Hasaranga trapped Ali in front to draw first blood for Sri Lanka before Nuwan Pradeep removed the dangerous Babar Azam (31) LBW.
Zaman was the next to go, with Pradeep getting his wicket as he caught by Dasun Shanaka at third man.
Skipper Sarfaraz (22) and Sohail then held fort to forge a 55-run fourth wicket stand before the skipper chopped a Lahiru Kumara delivery on to his stumps.
Sohail then hit three fours and a six in a 50-ball 56 to guide the team to a win with 10 balls to spare.
Iftikhar Ahmed was not out on 28 along with Wahab Riaz (1 not out).
Earlier, the visitors rode Danushka Gunathilaka (133)'s ton to post 297/9.
The 28-year-old southpaw scored a 134-ball 133 with 16 fours and a six for his second hundred which lifted the islanders after they won the toss and batted on a flat National Stadium wicket.
Gunathilaka, suspended twice for breaches of disciplines in the last two years, had stands of 88 with skipper Lahiru Thirimanne (36) for the second, 50 for the third with Angelo Perera (13) and 74 with debutant Minod Bhanuka (36) for the fourth in a brilliant display of batting.
He was removed in the 45th over, bowled by pacer Mohammad Amir who was the best bowler for the hosts with 3/50.
Besides Gunathilaka, all-rounder Shanaka smashed a whirlwind 24-ball 43 with five boundaries and two sixes as Sri Lanka added 50 in the last five overs.
Pakistan, who led the three-match series 1-0 after winning the second match by 67 runs, brought Abid Ali and Mohammad Nawaz for Imam-ul-Haq and Imad Wasim.
For Sri Lanka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Isuru Udana and Oshada Fernando made way for Bhanuka, Lakshan Sandakan and Perera. The first rubber was washed out without a ball bowled.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 297/9 in 50 overs (Danushka Gunathilaka 133, Mohammed Amir 3/50); Pakistan: 299/5 (Fakhar Zaman 76, Abid Ali 74, Haris Sohail 56; Nuwan Pradeep 2/53)