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Pak cruise to 4-wkt win against Lanka

Yousuf scored a stylish half-century to propel Pakistan to a comfortable four-wicket win in the third and final ODI to clinch the series 2-0.
None | By Associated Press, Colombo
UPDATED ON MAR 22, 2006 05:35 PM IST

Mohammad Yousuf scored a stylish half-century on Wednesday to propel Pakistan to a comfortable four-wicket win against Sri Lanka in the third limited-overs international and a series sweep.

Yousuf backed up Shahid Afridi's haul of three wickets for 37, and knocks of 46 runs each by opening batsmen Shoaib Malik and Imran Farhat, to secure the win at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground. With a close four-wicket win in a low-scoring game at Premadasa Stadium last Sunday and the first match being abandoned because of rain the visitors won the three-match series 2-0. Pakistan's bowlers bundled Sri Lanka out for 224 in the last over of the innings Wednesday after Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq won the toss and invited the hosts to bat first.

Pakistan reached its target in the 46th over with four wickets remaining.

Coming in to bowl when the hosts were one wicket down for 86 in the 21st over, threatening to post a big total, Afridi picked up the key dismissals of Kumar Sangakkara (22), Kaushal Lokuarachchi (13) and Russel Arnold (0) to push down the scoring rate. Young batsman Chamara Kapugedera made 50 _ his maiden half-century in 74 balls including seven boundaries. Tillakaratne Dilshan amassed a 46-ball 44 that included four boundaries Seamer Abdul Razzaq bowled 10 tight overs to record 1-35 and Rana Naved took two low order wickets to return figures 2-40. The visitors took a brisk start with opener Malik and Farhat sharing 61 runs in just 52 balls. Malik cracked 46 in 38 balls including nine fours.

He plundered 10 runs off Muttiah Muralitharan's first over, but was dismissed in the same over, caught by Kapugedera at extra-cover. Farhat also made 46 off 52 balls hitting eight fours. He was stumped by Kumar Sangakkara off Dilshan. Younis Khan also fell to a brilliant stumping from Sangakkara off Muralitharan for 25. Yousuf mixed patience with aggression in his 53 runs that came off 73 balls including six boundaries.

Muralitharan was pick of Sri Lankan bowlers claiming three wickets for 58 runs in his 10 overs.

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