Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali lauded his batsmen's consistency after his side successfully chased a total of 257 runs in just 40.5 overs against Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Wednesday, thereby winning the ODI series after nine years at the Lankan island.
Ali was extremely happy with his team's performance in this ongoing ODI series. The top order batsmen have scored most of the runs in this series, making things easier for the middle-order.
Ahmed Shehzad played a brilliant knock of 95 runs from 90 balls which included 12 boundaries and a six. Unfortunately, he missed out on a ODI hundred but his partnership with Mohammad Hafeez was crucial.
"Shehzad played exceptionally. He played very positively and put the bad balls away. When Hafeez came, he played a crucial knock as they were putting a lot of pressure on us. He played like a senior player would play. We had a 100-run stand between them.
"Once you have confidence that all the batsmen are in good form, you suddenly have a leverage to play fluently and take a few risks as well," Ali told reporters at the post-match press conference on Wednesday.
Pakistan's bowlers have also done a good job throughout the tour. They successfully managed to trouble most of the Sri Lanka batsmen in the Tests as well as in the ODIs. They made it a point to stick to the basics and bowl at the right spot, a strategy that paid off.
Pakistan are now inching closer to secure a spot in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 as they have moved up one notch in the ICC Rankings after this series win with one game still in hand. Azhar Ali and his team would look to wrap up the series in style.
"When we got wickets we knew they lack a little bit of experience after Mathews - they didn't have a lot of in form batsmen," said Azhar. "When the wickets did come we knew that we can keep them to about 250 or 260."