Sri Lanka require another 55 runs with 9 wickets and 41.0 overs remaining
For the first time in the series, Pakistan began a match in their comfort zone. They won the toss and batted first for the first time this series. It was the 31st toss Misbah-ul-Haq had won, and the 21st time he had chosen to bat. Pakistan had Saeed Ajmal back, and the pitch, everyone agreed, promised to help the spinners as the match progressed. In the deciding match of a three-match series, things were finally falling in place for them. Misbah said 260-270 would be a good score.
Pakistan did not get anywhere near that. The movement Lasith Malinga and Dhammika Prasad achieved early on may have forced them to rethink their target, but they surely would not have settled for 102 all out. They began at a crawl, scoring just six runs in the first five overs for the loss of Sharjeel Khan, but what followed flattered Sri Lanka’s bowlers. This was not a typically flat ODI track, certainly, but it was definitely one on which a team could survive 50 overs. Pakistan were bowled out in less than 33, with their only respite coming during a 40-minute rain interruption when they were 81 for 8. The match was reduced, subsequently, to 48 overs a side.