Playing just his second ODI, Usman Khan destroyed Sri Lanka’s top-order, striking four times in 11 balls and then completing a five-for off his 21st delivery. Since 2001, only two bowlers have completed a five-wicket haul in fewer balls. Chaminda Vaas did it in 16 balls against Bangladesh in Pietermeritzburg in the 2003 World Cup, which included a hat-trick from the first three balls of the innings, and Netherlands’ Timm van der Gugten completed a five-for in 20 balls against Canada in 2013. Usman is only the second Pakistan bowler after Bilal Asif to take a five-wicket haul in his first two ODIs. Bilal also did it in his second match, in 2015.
All downhill after winning the toss
Sri Lanka, trailing 4-0, chose to bat first after they called right at the toss. That turned out to be the only good thing to happen to them all day. They lost two wickets in their first over, two in their third and were four down with only eight runs on the board. Only once have they lost their fourth wicket at a lower score. Three of their top five batsmen were out for ducks – Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dinesh Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella, and this was only their third such instance in ODIs.
The visitors couldn’t really recover from that nightmarish start and were eventually all out for 103, in 26.2 overs. It was their shortest innings, and second-lowest score, after choosing to bat first. It was also the fewest oversPakistan have taken to dismiss their opposition after losing the toss and having to bowl first.
Sri Lanka’s innings was the ninth-shortest for any team after electing to bat first.
Third 5-0 whitewash in 2017, 12th successive defeat
Sri Lanka’s wretched year in ODIs has turned worse with every match of this series. They have suffered their third whitewash in five bilateral series this year – against South Africa, India and Pakistan. Before this, no team had ever been whitewashed more than twice in a year in bilateral series of five or more games. Incidentally, from 1982 to 2016, they had been whitewashed only once in a five-match series, by India in 2014.
Sri Lanka have a 4-21 win-loss record in ODIs this year, one of the worst years for any team. This tour of the UAE has been a rare case of one team sweeping the Test series and the other sweeping the ODI series. England’s 2011-12 tour of the UAE was similar – they lost the Tests 3-0 and won the ODIs 4-0.
Sri Lanka are now on a streak of 12 consecutive losses and are only two short of their longest losing run. They had lost 14 in a row between 1987 and 1988. Incidentally, none of the eight oldest full-member teams have suffered more than 11 losses in a row. England and West Indies have lost 11 in a row.
Pakistan extended their winning streak to nine games and are three short of their longest victory streak of 12 games between 2007 and 2008. This was the sixth time Pakistan had swept a five-match series, the joint-most instances along with India. Pakistan have whitewashed Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and New Zealand in the past and they last did so in 2008, against Bangladesh.
Dream year for Pakistan’s quicks
Pakistan’s fast bowlers have been sensational in 2017. Statistically, this year has been the best ever for Pakistan’s fast bowlers in terms of strike rate. They have picked up a wicket once every 28.6 balls, which is their best in any year. Overall this strike rate is the third-best for any team that has played 10 or more ODIs in a year. South Africa’s quicks struck once every 27.2 balls in 2011, and Australia’s once every 27.6 balls in 2015. Pakistan’s previous best year in this case was 2008, when their fast bowlers had a strike rate of 29.
Except Wahab Riaz, none of the six other Pakistan fast bowlers have averaged more than 32 this year. Hasan Ali has been the standout with 45 wickets at an average of just 17.04.
Pakistan have no more ODIs scheduled for this year. They will now look back fondly on a memorable year in ODIs, which has brought them a Champions Trophy victory and a whitewash of Sri Lanka, and seen the rise of talents such as Hasan, Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Faheem Ashraf, Usman Khan and Imam-ul-Haq.