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Muralitharan spins SL to victory
May 18, 2003 18:50 IST
Muttiah Muralitharan took five wickets as Sri Lanka snatched a dramatic 12-run victory over Pakistan in the fourth match of the tri-series on Sunday.
Pakistan, chasing a modest 173 for victory, were bowled out for 160 in 47.4 overs on a crumbling pitch.
They had started the run chase confidently, the openers adding 21 before Taufeeq Umar was run out to prompt a collapse that left Pakistan reeling at 66 for four.
Younis Khan and Shoaib Malik fought back with a 46-run stand and Pakistan needed 61 runs from the last 15 overs before Muralitharan weaved his magic.
After Sanath Jayasuriya had Khan stumped for 26, the 30-year-old off spinner dismissed Malik and Abdul Razzaq.
When Muralitharan returned for his fourth and final spell with 19 runs needed from five overs he had Shoaib Akhtar stumped off his first ball.
Muralitharan had taken four wickets for five runs from his last 22 deliveries and finished with five for 23 from 9.4 overs.
Sri Lanka top the standings on 10 points, with Pakistan and New Zealand on seven points each.
Earlier, Tillakaratne Dilshan played through the pain of an injured hand to top-score for Sri Lanka with 46 from 93 deliveries after the home side had slumped to 53 for five.
Back in the side for the first time in two years, the 26-year-old added 79 in 137 balls for the sixth wicket with all rounder Kumar Dharmasena.
The only other partnership of substance was between captain Marvan Atapattu and Kumar Sangakkara, who added 34 in 68 balls for the third wicket.
The second highest scorer was 33 extras, including 14 no balls and 12 wides, as Pakistan's pace bowlers struggled to adapt to a strong wind.
Shoaib and Mohammad Sami, who finished with two wickets each, reduced Sri Lanka to 13 for two in the fourth over.
Jayasuriya was caught at the wicket two balls after receiving treatment for a blow to his hand and wicketkeeper Romesh Kaluwitharana whipped a catch to mid-on.
Atapattu and Sangakkara steadied the innings before the skipper edged a catch behind, Mahela Jayawardene was run out for a duck and Sangakkara was also caught by wicketkeeper Rashid Latif.
Dilshan and Dharmasena's workmanlike sixth-wicket stand steadied the innings, though, the pair hitting just three boundaries in a 79-run partnership.
But just when Sri Lanka looked as if they might creep to a respectable total they lost three quick wickets and the hosts were indebted to a late flurry from Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas, who added 25 runs for the ninth wicket.