Dinesh Chandimal earns consolation win
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Dinesh Chandimal notched a half century for the first time in 11 months and carried Sri Lanka to a thrilling two-wicket victory over Pakistan in the fifth and final one-day international on Friday.
Chandimal, who scored his last ODI fifty against Australia in January, made a composed unbeaten 64 off 70 balls with just one four and a six as he put on a match-winning 40-run stand with No. 10 batsman Ajantha Mendis (19 not out) to guide his team to 235-8 in 49.4 overs.
Pakistan, which clinched the series 3-2, was bowled out for 232 with Lasith Malinga (4-57) finally making an impact after taking just two wickets in the previous four matches.
Captain Misbah-ul-Haq top scored with 51 for his 15th half century of 2013 and finished the year as the leading scorer in limited-overs cricket.
"I'm over the moon,'' Chandimal said. "Credit goes to Mendis at the end to help us get through as sometimes I was a bit nervous.''
Sri Lanka looked to have spoiled a perfect start of 75 runs by their openers Kusal Perera (47) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (45) when it limped to 195-8 in the 46h over.
Chandimal and Mendis swung the game in Sri Lanka's favor when they hit a six each off Umar Gul's 49th over before Mendis, playing his first match of the series, hit the winning boundary off Anwar Ali over extra cover to finish off the game.
"We really fought well, but it just slipped in the last three overs,'' Misbah said. "The pitch was a bit slow, but still we were 20-25 runs short. The bowlers did well to pull back the game, but a few lapses in the field cost us ultimately.''
Perera hit three fours and four sixes in a blistering start to Sri Lanka run-chase before he was out plumb leg before wicket while trying reverse sweep off Mohammad Hafeez.
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