Sarfraz, Yasir star in Pakistan’s

Sarfraz Ahmed scored 77 and Yasir Shah grabbed four wickets as Pakistan thrashed Sri Lanka by 135 runs in the violence-hit third one-day international in Colombo on Sunday.

All-rounder Mohammad Hafeez made up for a year-long ban on bowling due to a suspect action with a polished 54 as Pakistan piled up 4-316 after electing to bat in the day-night match.

Leg-spinner Yasir then shone with the ball as Sri Lanka were bundled out for 181 in 41.1 overs on a slow pitch at the Premadasa stadium.

The match was interrupted for 30 minutes in the second session with Sri Lanka on 7-158 when stones thrown apparently from outside the stadium landed on the field near a Pakistani fielder.

Match referee Javagal Srinath of India immediately ordered the players off the field as anti-riot police squads evacuated spectators from two blocks of stands near the giant scoreboard.

The match, which was witnessed by Pakistan batting great Zaheer Abbas – the current president of the International Cricket Council (ICC) – resumed after the short break and Pakistan completed a facile win to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

Lahiru Thirimanne, who top-scored with 56, was the only Sri Lankan batsman to offer resistance as the rest of the batting collapsed. Opener Kusal Perera was the next highest contributor with 20.

Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews admitted his team was outplayed by Pakistan.

“I am pretty disappointed,” he said.

“But it must be said that Pakistan outplayed us in all three departments.”

“The pitch helped the spinners in the second innings, but we need to improve in batting, bowling and fielding. We can’t afford to panic. Just need to have faith in the boys.”

Pakistan won the opening match in Dambulla and Sri Lanka took the second in Pallekele.

Ninth-ranked Pakistan need a series win to remain in contention for a place in the eight-nation Champions Trophy in England in 2017.

Sri Lanka, currently ranked fifth, are assured of taking part in the tournament.

The fourth match will be played at the same venue on Wednesday.

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