Pakistan beat Sri Lanka in first One-dayer
Karachi, Jan 20 (IANS) Salman Butt struck a century as Pakistan hammered Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the first One-day International cricket at the National Stadium here Tuesday.
Pakistan bowled a tight line to restrict Sri Lanka to a modest 219, before Butt (100 not out) and Khurram Manzoor's (83) 168-run opening stand took them home with 25 balls to spare.
Pakistan were the underdogs in the series as they are playing international match after a long gap but they put in an all-round display to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.
Pacer Rao Iftikhar Anjum picked a career-best four for 42 and Umar Gul collected three key wickets.
The hosts were expected to face a tough time chasing the vistory target against a Sri Lankan attack that includes the world's best spin duo of Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis.
However, Butt and Manzoor made batting look easy to set up an easy win. They put on the eighth highest opening partnership for Pakistan, collecting 168 off 224 balls. Manzoor struck nine boundaries including four off Mendis. He fell to Murali while going for a straight drive. His 83 came off 128 balls.
Butt's eight hundred took 117 balls and had 13 fours.
Younis Khan then made 20 before falling to Farvez Mahroof. Skipper Shoaib Malik (11) and Butt finished the job for Pakistan.
Earlier, Pakistan were sent on the back foot by Sri Lanka openers -- Tilakaratne Dilshan and Sanath Jayasuriya -- who put on a brisk 71-run partnershio off just 53 balls.
But Gul sent back both openers, first getting rid of Dilshan (42 off 33 balls) and then trapping the experienced Jayasuriya (38 off 35 balls) leg before.
Rao, 28, then scalped Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene (1) and took the key wicket of top scorer Kumar Sangakkara (49 off 40 balls) to bring the visitors under pressure.
Sri Lanka were all out in 45.2 overs.
The two sides will meet in the next match on Wednesday.
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