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                   Mathews guides Sri Lanka to improbable win

Angelo Matthews played a gem of an innings to pull off an improbable victory from the jaws of defeat and guide Sri Lanka to a thrilling two wickets win against Pakistan in the fifth and final ODI played at the R. Premadasa International Stadium on Monday. Thus Sri Lanka sealed the ODI series 3-1. This is Sri Lanka's first ODI series win after losing six series on the trot since the last World Cup. The cool-headed Sri Lankan vice-captain paced out his innings magnificently keeping his options open to counter attack until the final over when he scored 14 runs in four balls. Sri Lanka needed 15 runs off the last over and Mohammed Sami started off with a wide. 14 runs in six balls turned to four runs in three balls after Matthews hit a massive six off the third ball. Four in three balls was a foregone conclusion as Mathews smacked the Sami’s fourth delivery to the point boundary as the crowd rushed to congratulate Mathews and non striker Nuwan Kulasekara.Matthews, later rewarded with man of the match award, was ably supported by late order batsmen. His unbeaten 80 off 76 balls comprised of four fours and two towering sixes. Sri Lanka was well on course before Shahid Afridi struck in the 25th over to bring Pakistan back into the game. The seasoned spinner removed Kumar Sangakkara (40) and Mahela Jayawardene (0) within two balls to push Sri Lanka backwards at 97 for 4 and left Sri Lanka needing 151 in 25 overs. Sri Lanka had a dreadful start losing two wickets for 19 runs in six overs. T. M. Dilshan played on to his stumps off his pads for 10 runs in the fourth over. Two overs later, Sohail Tanvir sent the off stump of Upul Tharanga (2) cartwheeling to lift Pakistan's hops to level the series. Dinesh Chandimal and Kumar Sangakkara added 78 runs for the third wicket in 113 balls saw the pendulum swung back into Sri Lanks'a way before Afridi turned the game on its head in the 25th over.Pakistan scored 247 for seven in 50 overs after winning the toss and electing to bat first. Having kept their wickets intact through the first 35 overs with 159 for 4 on the board, Pakistan managed only 88 runs off the last 15 overs losing three wickets in the process. However, the credit should go to the Sri Lankan bowlers for maintaining a steady line and length which kept them pegged down to 56 off the final 10 overs. Umar Akmal added some life to the Pakistan innings with a power packed 55 in 61 balls with five fours and couple of towering sixes. Imran Farhat got the better of the Sri Lankan bowlers to score 56 off 63 balls while his partners at the other end were pegged to the crease for most of the time.Farhat, playing his first match of the tour, batted freely with cuts and pulls and made sure to middle the ball each time. His nine boundaries kept the scoreboard moving while Azhar Ali collected his runs in singles and twos. Nuwan Kulasekara bowled a beautiful inswinger to beat Mohammed Hafeez and bowl him through the gate for six runs. That was the only success for Sri Lanka during the first power play. Sri Lanka recalled Jeevan Mendis in place of Sajeewa Weerakoon and the right arm leg spinner proved his worth with a fine spell of nine overs to claim two for 30