Sharjah: There was no respite for Sri Lanka. In one of the more closely-fought encounters on this tour, it was Pakistan who prevailed by five wickets after their opponents promised to deliver better, only to falter and give it away. First, with their batting, when they began aggressively and scored at around nine an over in the first ten overs before slowing down considerably and eventually capitulating in the second half. And then it happened with the ball, their spinners putting them in control through tight spells and wickets, not knowing Dilhara Fernando and some fielders would fail to hold their nerve at the death.
Misbah-ul-Haq stood tall for Pakistan, doing what Dinesh Chandimal, who made an enterprising half-century, failed to achieve after guiding the innings - seeing his team through to the end and finishing on a high. Pakistan's seamers did what their counterparts failed to do - Aizaz Cheema and Umar Gul cleaned up the innings, taking five wickets in the last two overs, to restrict the visitors to a chaseable score; on the other hand, Fernando doled out length deliveries that brought down the required-rate considerably.
Ajantha Mendis, returning from injury, and captain Tillakaratne Dilshan restrained Pakistan in their pursuit of 142 after Imran Farhat began brightly. He inaugurated the innings with three crisp boundaries off the first over of the innings but brought on to bowl in the sixth over, inside the Powerplay, Mendis struck, removing Farhat, who holed out. Umar Akmal's first-ball duck was crucial in reducing the tempo of the innings further when he adventurously made room to Dilshan and was bowled playing inside the line.