Malinga took a brilliant five-wicket haul under pressure after opener Lahiru Thirimanne hit his second ODI century to help Sri Lanka script a thrilling win over Pakistan in their opening match at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium.

"Malinga is the best bowler for us and has been in the past few years. Whenever we are under pressure he is our go to man and he did it again," Mathews said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

Asked whether Malinga was underbowled, Mathews replied: "Well, maybe I'll try to bowl him more."      

Malinga produced a sensational spell of death bowling, picking up key wickets at crucial junctures, to ensure the win for his side with seven balls to spare.

Chasing an imposing 297 for victory, Pakistan were on course for a remarkable victory before Malinga came up with a fiery spell to bowl out the 'Men in Green' for 284 in 48.5 overs.

Malinga first sent back dangerman Shahid Afridi (4) and well-settled skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (73) in a span of three deliveries in his eighth over before returning back to dismiss Saeed Ajmal (10) and Bilawal Bhatti (18) in his final over to finish with figures of 5 for 52.

(Agencies)

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