“Danushka Gunathilaka knocked a 134-ball 133 with 16 boundaries and a six for his second hundred which lifted Sri Lanka in Karachi on October 2. ©AFP” Karachi (AFP) – Recharged opener Danushka Gunathilaka scored a career best century to lift Sri Lanka to a challenging 297-9 against Pakistan in the third and final day-night international against Pakistan in Karachi on Wednesday. The 28-year-old left-hander knocked a 134-ball 133 with 16 boundaries and a six for his second hundred which lifted Sri Lanka after they won the toss and batted on a flat National stadium pitch.
Gunathilaka, suspended twice for breaches of disciplines in the last two years, held the innings together with stands of 88 with skipper Lahiru Thirimanne (36) for the second, 50 for the third with Angelo Perera (13) and 74 with debutant Minod Bhanuka (36) for the fourth in a brilliant display of batting. He was finally dismissed in the 45th over, bowled by paceman Mohammad Amir who was the best Pakistani bowler with 3-50. It was Amir who gave Pakistan an early breakthrough when he had Avishka Fernando caught behind for four by Sarfaraz Ahmed, leading Pakistan for the 50th time in an ODI. Gunathilaka defied Pakistan’s bowling with guts and determination, improving his previous ODI best of 116 he made against Zimbabwe at Hambantota in 2017. Thirimanne hit four boundaries off 54 balls while Bhanuka had two sixes in his 39-ball knock. Allrounder Dasun Shanaka hit a quick 24-ball 43 with five boundaries and two sixes as Sri Lanka added 50 in the last five overs. Pakistan, who leads the three-match series 1-0 on winning the second match by 67 runs, brought Abid Ali and Mohammad Nawaz for Imam-ul-Haq and Imad Wasim. For Sri Lanka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Isuru Udana and Oshada Fernando made way for Bhanuka, Lakshan Sandakan and Perera. The first match was rained off, also in Karachi, on Friday.