Pakistan vs Sri Lanka, Pakistan takes a 4-0 lead in the series.
After an action-packed Abu Dhabi leg of the series, the focus then shifted to Sharjah where the last two ODIs between Pakistan and Sri Lanka were scheduled to be played. With the series done and dusted, it was time once again for the struggling Sri Lankan team to salvage some pride from the series.
Sri Lanka after winning the toss came up with yet another dismal performance with the bat with Thirimanne being the only shining light in the innings. Pakistan had to chase down a below-par target of 174. After a slight hiccup at the start, Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik took their team to a thrashing 7-wicket win. Babar Azam was adjudged as the man of the match.
1. Shadab Khan back to back wickets
Much like the theme of the series, Shadab Khan picked up wickets as soon as he was brought into the attack. But this time around, he extended his own benchmark by claiming a couple of back to back wickets in the first two deliveries he bowled in his spell.
He dismissed Prasanna who tried to smash him out of the part but only managed get bamboozled by the wrong one he bowled first up. As a result, the bowl crashed to the stumps while going past the gate. The next ball, Thisara Perera tried to sneak a single while trying to play towards long-on, but only managed to edge one to the slips.
2. Dinesh Chandimal run-out
After a rollicking start from Pakistan, Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne were looking to consolidate the innings. Sri Lanka lost Tharanga and Dickwella early. A partnership between the two became absolutely necessary for the Lankans to establish a solid total.
Before the Lankans could proceed any further, their progression was halted by a needless runout. Both Thirimanne and Chandimal ended up towards the same end due to miscommunication. In the end, Chandimal could not turn back and return to crease on time and the Lankans lost the priced wicket of Chandimal.
3. Hasan Ali 3 wicket haul
The newly crowned number 1 ODI bowler in the world continued to make it a habit of picking up three-wicket hauls. Yet again, he picked up three crucial wickets to take his series tally to a whopping 12 in 4 matches. In fact, both Shadab Khan and Hasan Ali have filled in their boots this series with 8 and 12 wickets respectively. The Lankans have found no answers to the two bowlers yet in the series.
4. Openers going out cheaply
Chasing a moderate total of 174, Sri Lanka managed to pick up a couple of early wickets to cause a panic in the Pakistan dressing room. The debutant who scored a ton in the last match, Imam ul Haq, perished without troubling the scorers. Furthermore, Fakhar Zaman followed his opening partner shortly after. To make matters tricky Mohammad Hafeez followed the openers as Pakistan was reduced to 58-3.
5. Babar Azam- Shoaib Malik partnership
With Pakistan precariously placed after the loss of Hafeez wicket, Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik stitched an elegant partnership of 124 runs. Both batsmen scored flamboyant knocks of 69 to see it through for their side. In the end, it was all too easy for the Pakistanis as they won the match by a margin of 7 wickets. With this win, Pakistan took a 4-0 lead in the series with a match to go.