| GEO Sports|
| Pakistan get 233-run target v SL|
| Updated at: 1410 PST, Thursday, July 30, 2009|
DAMBULLA: Pakistan received 233-run target from Sri Lanka in first ODI Played at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium on Thursday.
Mathew scored 43 from 50 balls.
On a green-tinged pitch that was slow as well, Pakistan made best use of winning the toss, reducing Sri Lanka to 105 for 3 by the halfway stage of their innings. At a venue where teams batting first have traditionally struggled, Sri Lanka struggled to establish any momentum, and Kumar Sangakkara's loss, after a sprightly 36, was a big blow to their hopes of piling up a competitive total.
Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene had added 48 in quick time after a sedate start to the innings. As in the Test series, Sangakkara seldom failed to cash in on the bad ball, stroking Umar Gul through mid-on and cover, and clipping Younis Khan's part-time medium-pace through midwicket for fours. But just as it seemed that the time was ripe to accelerate, he was undone by a Saeed Ajmal delivery that dipped and turned, and the attempt to cut merely looped to point.
Pakistan hadn't started well, with Kamran Akmal putting down a sharp chance off Sanath Jayasuriya in the second over. It was down the leg side, and it denied Abdul Razzaq a wicket on his return to the side after a two-year absence. Razzaq could have had Jayasuriya a couple of overs later as well, but a terrible miscue straight back down the pitch was embarrassingly dropped right in front of the batsman's face.
At the other end, Upul Tharanga was in poor touch, beaten repeatedly outside his off stump with feet scarcely moving. It was Jayasuriya who went first though, slashing the second ball he faced from Gul down to Mohammad Aamer at third man. Aamer, the debutant, had impressed with the new ball, bowling with pace and beating the bat often.
Pakistan had sprung a few surprises in the team selection, with neither Nasir Jamshed or Imran Nazir picked to open. Sri Lanka had gone back to Jayasuriya and Tharanga, who played no part in the Test series, but it was the return of Muttiah Muralitharan and Lasith Malinga that promised to have the biggest bearing on a surface where run-scoring never looked easy. The venue, up in the cultural triangle, was buffeted by strong winds and in conditions that assisted the bowlers, Razzaq and his less experienced colleagues had made an early statement of intent.
Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga, Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara (capt), Mahela Jayawardene, Thilan Samaraweera, Chamara Kapugedera, Angelo Mathews, Thilan Thushara, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Muttiah Muralitharan.
Pakistan: Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Younis Khan (capt), Mohammad Yousuf, Fawad Alam, Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq, Abdul Razzaq, Mohammad Aamer, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal.