Credit goes to Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez for the win: Shoaib Malik

Credit goes to Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez for the win: Shoaib Malik

Pakistan took a 1-0 lead in the 5-match series against Sri Lanka.

Shoaib Malik
Shoaib Malik of Pakistan bats during the first One Day International match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. (Photo Source: Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Veteran Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik stepped up his game and scored a vital 81 off 61 balls to help Pakistan seal a 83-run win over Sri Lanka in the first ODI in Dubai on Friday. Malik was adjudged the man of the match for his contribution but he credited in-form Babar Azam, who scored his sixth ODI hundred. He also said that the onus was on him to guide the team to a good total after the solid start.

Pakistan entered the ODI series after a massive 2-0 defeat against the Lankan in the Test series. The morale was pretty down post the series but they made a strong comeback and now have a lead of 1-0. Malik said that Babar and Mohammad Hafeez’s 49-run stand was very crucial at that stage of the game.

Babar-Hafeez show

“Credit to Babar and Hafeez. That was the innings that gave us the confidence. I didn’t take any pressure. My role was to rotate strike. Being an experienced player, it’s my responsibility to turn up when things are down. Those few boundaries helped our total,” Malik said after their win on Friday.

Sarfaraz relieved with the win

Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed was also happy to get back to winning ways. He added that it was important to win the ODI opener, as they had lost the Test series few days back. “When you lose one series, the first match of the next series becomes very important. Credit to the boys. We’ve got a lot of bowling options. This bodes well for us. The way we’ve done today, we’ll look to carry this template forward. If you set up runs on the board, with this bowling attack we can defend well. We will of course decide based on conditions. There is a lot of quality in this side.” he said.