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Sri Lanka mauls Pakistan in Lahore

SPINNER Muttiah Muralitharan took his 500th wicket in one-day internationals as Sri Lanka thrashed Pakistan by 234 runs to win the series 2-1 yesterday.

Pakistan, replying to Sri Lanka's 309 for five, was skittled out for just 75 in the third and final one-dayer with Muralitharan claiming two late wickets after pacemen Nuwan Kulasekara (three for 17) and Thilan Thushara (three for 33) had wreaked havoc.

Sri Lanka opener Tillakaratne Dilshan thumped an unbeaten 137 to guide the tourists to a commanding total in Lahore.

Muralitharan picked up the last wicket, that of Sohail Khan, to become only the second bowler to take 500 one-day wickets.

He now needs another three to overhaul Pakistan's Wasim Akram and become the highest wicket-taker in one-dayers. He is already the highest wicket-taker in tests with 769 victims.

Pakistan never recovered from a disastrous start when Kulasekara and left-armer Thushara sliced through its top order to reduce the host to 22 for six inside 10 overs.

Umar Gul, the pick of Pakistan's bowlers with three for 45, top-scored with 27.

It was Pakistan's lowest total against the Lankans and its biggest defeat to the visiting side.

Pakistan's previous biggest defeat - in terms of runs - was a 224-run loss to Australia in 2002 at Nairobi, Kenya.

Pakistan won the first match in Karachi by eight wickets before Sri Lanka leveled the series by winning the second by 129 runs.

Meanwhile, an Indian Premier League (IPL) tribunal completed its hearing into Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif's doping appeal yesterday and will meet again on an unspecified date to decide what action to take.

Asif, 26, was suspended last May after testing positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone in the Indian Twenty20 league.


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