Shinwari leads Pakistan’s whitewash of Sri Lanka

SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates: Left-arm paceman Usman Shinwari destroyed Sri Lanka with a five-wicket burst to help Pakistan achieve a convincing nine-wicket win in the fifth and final match for a 5-0 clean sweep of the series on Monday.
Shinwari’s 5-34 in seven overs reduced Sri Lanka to 103 all out in 26.2 overs in Sharjah before openers Fakhar Zaman (48) and Imam-ul-Haq (45 not out) knocked off the paltry target in 20.2 overs.
This is Pakistan’s sixth whitewash in a five-match ODI series. They had blanked Zimbabwe (2002 and 2008), Bangladesh (2003 and 2008) and New Zealand in 2003 in the past.
The result was never in doubt once Shinwari assisted by Hasan Ali (2-19) and Shadab Khan (2-24) had destroyed Sri Lanka who had totals of 209, 187, 208 and 173 in the series.
The win is Pakistan’s ninth in a row since winning the Champions trophy in June this year while Sri Lanka plummeted to their 12th defeat in a row, also losing 5-0 each to South Africa and India this year.
Zaman hit seven boundaries in his 47-ball knock before he fell with just 20 needed. Imam hit the winning boundary, finishing his 64-ball knock with four boundaries and a six.
But it was Pakistan’s new find Shinwari who rocked the Sri Lankans.
The 23-year-old finished with 5-34 as Sri Lanka, who won the toss and batted on an easy paced Sharjah stadium pitch, never recovered from early jolts of losing four wickets in the first three overs.
Shinwari termed it his best bowling in the entire career.
“Yes, you can say this is my best performance,” said Shinwari, declared man of the match. “Our bowling coach (Azhar Mahmood) always tells us to attack from the first ball and I did that and got wickets.”
Sri Lankan skipper Upul Tharanga showed disappointment over the loss.
“For the last 15-18 months we are losing because of poor batting,” said Tharanga, referring to Sri Lanka’s defeats which also included their first-ever loss to minnows Zimbabwe at home. “We had no answer to Pakistan’s bowling in the series and today we lost four wickets inside three overs and it was tough to come back after that.”
Only Thisara Perera (25), Lahiru Thirimanne (19), Seekuge Prasanna (16) and Dushmantha Chameera (11) reached double figures in an abysmal batting performance by Sri Lanka, their second lowest total in an ODI against Pakistan. Their lowest total of 78 against Pakistan had also come at Sharjah in 2002.
Shinwari, who debuted in the fourth one-day of this series, bowled Sadeera Samarawickrama with the fifth ball of the match for nought and then had Dinesh Chandimal next ball, caught behind without scoring.