Sri Lanka beat Pakistan 2-1 in the home ODIs, recovering from a close defeat in the opening game at Hambantota. Here’s a look at the top performers with the bat and the ball in the three-match series.
Thisara Perera: The all-rounder from Sri Lanka was the standout performer in the series, and was thus adjudged the man of the series. In three games, he claimed nine wickets at an average of 10.6 with a strike rate of 12 and an economy rate of 5.3. He claimed 2 for 43 at Hambantota, 3 for 19 in the second match at the same venue, and finished with 4 for 34 at Dambulla. He also starred with the bat in the second ODI, blasting 65 from 36 balls with five fours and four sixes to take Lanka past 300 in the game.
Angelo Mathews: The Sri Lankan skipper stood up once again. He was the leading run scorer with 182 runs from three matches at an average of 91, and a strike rate of 90.5 with two fifties. Mathews smashed 89 from 85 balls in the opening game at Hambantota, which Lanka went on to lose. He followed it up with 93 from 115 balls in the second game to set up Lanka’s victory although Perera stole his thunder. He also chipped in with a couple of wickets in the opening ODI.
Mahela Jayawardene: He mayhave retired from Tests, but Jayawardene continues to flourish in the shorter format as Sri Lanka look forward to put up another good showing in the 2015 World Cup. Jayawardene finished the series with 156 runs from three games at an average of 52 with two fifties and a strike rate of 90.6. Jayawardene kicked off the series with 63 from 66 balls at Hambantota and followed it up with 67 from 74 balls in the second ODI. He made a fluent 26 in the final ODI as Lanka clinched the series comfortably.
Fawad Alam: The Pakistan middle-order bat was the team’s best batsman in the series. In three games, he scored 130 runs at an average of 65 and a strike rate of 74.7 with one fifty. He made 62 from 61 in the opening ODI as Pakistan chased down a tough target. He made 30 in the second game in which Pakistan’s batting crumbled. He was Pakistan’s only batsman to stand up at Dambulla, remaining unbeaten on 38 from 73 balls as the others fell apart.
Wahab Riaz: The Pakistan seamer was the second highest wicket-taker in the series. From three games he picked up eight wickets at an average of 19.6, at strike rate of 18.7 and an economy rate of 6.2. Riaz began the series with 3 for 50 at Hambantota, and followed it up with 4 for 65 in the second ODI. With nothing much to defend, Riaz finished with 1 for 42 at Dambulla.
--By A Cricket Analyst