Shoaib Malik credits Babar Azam ton for Pakistan’s win vs Sri Lanka in Dubai ODI | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Shoaib Malik credits Babar Azam ton for Pakistan’s win vs Sri Lanka in Dubai ODI

Shoaib Malik, whose 61-ball 81 helped him get the Man of the Match award, credited Babar Azam’s century for setting up Pakistan’s win over Sri Lanka in the first ODI in Dubai after losing the Test series 2-0.

cricket Updated: Oct 14, 2017 15:13 IST
HT Correspondent
Babar Azam’s century and Shoaib Malik’s 81 off 61 balls helped Pakistan cricket team beat Sri Lanka by 83 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
Babar Azam’s century and Shoaib Malik’s 81 off 61 balls helped Pakistan cricket team beat Sri Lanka by 83 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series. (AFP)

Shoaib Malik’s brilliant 81 off 61 balls, combined with Babar Azam’s sixth ODI century helped Pakistan register an 83-run win over Sri Lanka in the first ODI in Dubai on Friday.

Malik’s knock helped him win the Man of the Match award and he credited Babar’s ton and his 49-run stand with Mohammad Hafeez for helping him score in that fashion. “Credit to Babar and Hafeez. That was the innings that gave us the confidence. I didn’t take any pressure. My role was to rotate strike,” Malik said after their win on Friday.

The Babar-Hafeez stand provided Malik the platform for Pakistan to score 292/6, a total which he said was excellent. “Being an experienced player, it’s my responsibility to turn up when things are down. Those few boundaries helped our total,” Malik said.

Rumman Raees and Hasan Ali picked up three wickets each to give Pakistan an important win after they had lost the Test series 2-0, the first time they had suffered a series loss in the UAE since it became their adopted home in 2010.

Not stepping up

Sri Lanka’s loss in Dubai was their eighth consecutive ODI loss and it continued their woeful run in ODIs in 2017 where they lost a series to Zimbabwe for the first time and were whitewashed 5-0 against India. Skipper Upul Tharanga admitted that Sri Lanka’s inability to bat 50 overs was costing them.

“At one stage, we thought we could restrict them to below 270. We haven’t batted to potential in the last few series, we haven’t been able to bat 50 overs. It’s time we deliver,” Tharanga said.

The second ODI between Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be played on October 16 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Brief scores: Pakistan 292/6 in 50 overs (Azam 103, Malik 81) beat Sri Lanka 209/8 (Thirimanne 53, Hasan Ali 3/36) by 83 runs.