COLOMBO, Jul 22: Lahiru Thirimanne scored 90 to lift Sri Lanka to a competitive 256-9 off their 50 overs in the crucial fourth one-day international against Pakistan in Colombo on Wednesday.
The left-hander put on 109 for the second wicket with Tillakaratne Dilshan (50) after opener Kusal Perera had been dismissed off the second ball of the match.
Perera skied a ball from tall fast bowler Mohammad Irfan after Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews won the toss for the first time on Pakistan’s current tour.
Thirimanne missed his fifth one-day century when he swept leg-spinner Yasir Shah to deep square-leg, where Ahmed Shehzad picked up a low catch to make amends for a dropped catch in the bowler’s previous over.
Sri Lanka must win the day-night match at the Premadasa stadium to stay afloat in the five-match series which Pakistan lead by a 2-1 margin.
Ninth-ranked Pakistan are seeking a series win to remain in contention for a place in the eight-nation Champions Trophy in England in 2017.
Sri Lanka, currently ranked fifth, are assured of taking part in the tournament.
Besides Thirimanne and Dilshan, none of the other top-order batsmen settled in as Mathews fell for 12 and Dinesh Chandimal was dismissed after making 20.
Tailender Lasith Malinga smashed 17 off 13 balls at the end to ensure Sri Lanka crossed the 250-run mark.
Sri Lanka brought in Ashan Priyanjan and Suranga Lakmal in place of Upul Tharanga and Thisara Perera, while Pakistan retained the team that won the third match last Sunday.