Sharjah: Usman Khan Shinwari, a rookie 23-year-old left arm pacer, showed the depth in Pakistan’s fast bowling reserves once again.
His spectacular pace and movement yielded figures of five for 34 as Pakistan demolished Sri Lanka by nine wickets in the final One Day International and completed a 5-0 sweep on Monday.
Backed by Sadab Khan (two for 24) and Hasan Ali (two for 19), Usman helped his team bowl out Sri Lanka for 103 in 26.2 overs. The green shirts then reached the target in 20.2 overs with 178 balls to spare before the innings break.
Openers Fakhar Zaman (48) and Imam-Ul Haq (45 n.o.) put on 84 runs in 16.4 overs.
Usman lived up to the confidence shown by his team coach Mickey Arthur, who on Sunday had remarked: “We rate Usman highly and he is going to be a very good cricketer. He is different. Shinwari skids the ball and he has got pace and I like what I see in him.”
Electing to bat first, Sri Lanka — whose total have been shrinking with every match in this series — produced their worst batting performance. It was also their second lowest score against Pakistan. Perhaps, Sri Lankan batsmen can take solace from the fact that when they made their lowest score of 78 against Pakistan in the Sharjah Cup 2002, the team had stalwarts like Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Russell Arnold. Interestingly, Arnold was present with Pakistan pacer Waqar Younis, who wrecked Sri Lanka on that occasion with three wickets, in the commentary box on Monday.
Sri Lanka’s disastrous batting show began with the fifth ball of the match. Usman had Sadeera Samarawickrama bowled for a duck. Sadeera played with no footwork and allowed the ball to hit his middle and off stump through the gate.
Encouraged by the early wicket, he bowled a beautiful delivery to experienced Dinesh Chandimal. Inviting Chandimal to drive his slanting delivery, he forced an edge to wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmad to take a low diving catch.
In the third over, Usman bowled skipper Upul Tharanga with his skiddy delivery. Wanting to hit through the mid-wicket, Tharanga missed the ball and returned to the pavilion for just eight runs. One ball later, Usman angled the ball brilliantly and trapped Niroshan Dickwella leg before for a duck.
With four wickets in 11 balls, Usman eyed his first five-wicket haul and got it too when Milinda Siriwardana scooped an easy catch to Fakhar Zaman at cover point for six. Five wickets down for 20 in 6.3 overs, it looked like Sri Lanka may get all out for their lowest score in ODI when South Africa bowled them out for 43 at Paarl in 2012.
In the 15th over, Hasan Ali had in-form Lahiru Thirimanne caught behind while trying to guide the ball to third man. As if the batsmen’s inability to play the bowlers wasn’t enough, Seekkuge Prasanna ran himself out. Taking a quick single to backward point, he focused on the ball hurtling towards him and did not ground the ball. With bat in the air to a direct hit from Shadab Khan, Perara was declared run out for 16.
Thisara Perera, despite the pathetic state of his team, went for his shots. He hit Shadab for a six over long on, but the latter took his revenge in the 22nd over by forcing Perera to hit high into the hands of Faheem Ashraf at long off for 25. In the same over, Shadab had Jeffery Vandersay leg before for two.
If not for the 18-run partnership for the last wicket between Dushmantha Chameera (11) and Vishwa Fernando (7n.o), Sri Lanka would have found it difficult to even reach the three-digit mark.
Upul Tharanga b U. khan 8
Sadeera Samarawickrama b U. khan 0
Dinesh Chandimal c S. Ahmad b U. khan 0
Lahiru Thirimanne c S. Ahmad b H. Ali 19
Niroshan Dickwella lbw b U. khan 0
Milinda Siriwardana c Zaman b U. khan 6
Seekkuge Prasanna run out (S. Khan) 16
Thisara Perera c Ashraf b S. Khan 25
Jeffrey Vandersay lbw b S. Khan 2
Dushmantha Chameera b H. Ali 11
Vishwa Fernando not out 7
Extras (lb-1 w-8) 9
Total (all out, 26.2 overs) 103
Fall of wickets: 1-1 S. Samarawickrama,2-1 D. Chandimal,3-8 U. Tharanga,4-8 N. Dickwella,5-20 M. Siriwardana,6-49 L. Thirimanne,7-63 S. Prasanna,8-85 T. Perera,9-85 J. Vandersay,10-103 D. Chameera.
Bowling: Usman Khan 7 - 0 - 34 - 5(w-5) Faheem Ashraf 4 - 0 - 12 - 0(w-1) Imad Wasim 4 - 1 - 12 - 0(w-2) Hasan Ali 5.2 - 0 - 19 - 2 Shadab Khan 5 - 1 - 24 - 2 Mohammad Hafeez 1 - 0 - 1 - 0.
Imam-ul-Haq not out 45
Fakhar Zaman c Dickwella b Vandersay 48
Faheem Ashraf not out 5
Extras (lb-2 w-5) 7
Total (for 1 wickets, 20.2 overs) 105
Fall of wickets: 1-84.
Bowling: Dushmantha Chameera 4 - 1 - 13 - 0 Vishwa Fernando 4 - 1 - 21 - 0 Jeffrey Vandersay 6.2 - 0 - 30 - 1(w-1) Thisara Perera 2 - 0 - 18 - 0 Seekkuge Prasanna 4 - 0 - 21 - 0(w-4).
Referees Umpire: Sundaram Ravi.
Umpire: Ahsan Raza
TV umpire: Richard Kettleborough.
Match referee: Andy Pycroft.
Result: Pakistan won by 9 wickets.